Corpus Christi, Texas, port commissioners unanimously awarded the construction of the Nueces River Rail Yard project to Haas-Anderson Construction, Ltd. The action took place at the commission meeting Tuesday.
Haas Anderson Construction, Ltd., was the lowest bid at $12,658,040. The firm is an extremely qualified civil construction contractor that has successfully completed large projects for the port in the past, said the agency.
“Port commissioners understand the importance of this infrastructure project. The new rail yard will greatly benefit all our existing customers as well as new industry,” said Mike Carrell, chairman of the Port Commission.
Due to the more than 100 percent increase in rail traffic over the last five years and the removal of the Tule Lake Lift Bridge, the need for additional rail facilities in the port’s inner harbor has become critical to operations, existing customers, and to attract new industry, the agency said.
Over the past three years, the Port Commission has approved several agreements and contracts related to the Nueces River Rail Yard project, including purchase orders for design, funding agreements with the Class I railroads and Rail Link (the port’s local rail switching company).
In June 2012, the U.S. Transportation Secretary awarded a $10 million grant. The project has received all permits, completed the design, and obtained bids for construction. Lighting for this rail yard has already been installed and was funded by a security grant, the agency said.
The most important feature of this project is the 8,000-foot-long unit train track to serve the port’s increased rail traffic. Other features include six shorter rail car siding tracks, approximately 4,000 feet each, service road, drainage improvements, automatic equipment indicator rail car readers for registering individual rail cars as they enter and leave the rail yard, and a 2.5-mile bike trail for the general public.
Port Corpus Christi is the fifth largest port in the United States in total tonnage. Strategically located on the western Gulf of Mexico, with a straight 45-foot deep channel, the port provides quick access to the Gulf and the entire United States inland waterway system.