deepening project

We are leading a project to deepen the Sabine-Neches Waterway from 40 feet to 48 feet.

The Channel Improvement Project will increase opportunities for use of the waterway and enhance economic benefits for Southeast Texas, the state of Texas, and the United States.

Anticipated economic benefits include billions of dollars in economic gains and tax benefits as well as tens of thousands of new jobs, both during construction and at project maturity.

2020 Sabine-Neches Waterway Fact Sheet

The Sabine-Neches Waterway is America’s energy gateway. It is home to numerous manufacturing, refining, and petrochemical companies and links to an extensive energy pipeline system, which connects to nearly every state in the country.

The Deepening Project

As the local non-federal sponsor of the Sabine-Neches Waterway, the SNND is working with the federal government to deepen the waterway from 40 feet to 48 feet. The Sabine-Neches Waterway was first deepened and widened in 1912, and has been improved three more times, with the last improvement completed in 1962. Since the last improvement nearly 50 years ago, vessel design has advanced tremendously and competition between U.S. ports has increased. Construction on the latest deepening project began in 2019 and will take almost ten years to complete.

The Deepening Project would:

  • Allow larger ships to reach local ports and waterway industries
  • Better manage waterway vessel traffic
  • Take advantage of the recently-expanded Panama Canal
  • Keep Southeast Texas ports competitive with other U.S. ports
  • Maintain current jobs and generate new jobs
  • Increase tax revenues
  • Stimulate economic growth and development
  • Secure the region’s future as America’s Energy Gateway and the nation’s largest military outload port

Sabine-Neches Waterway Channel Improvement
Project Milestones

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take to deepen the Sabine-Neches Waterway?

At fifty-seven miles long, the Sabine-Neches Waterway is the longest federal deep draft ship channel on the Texas Gulf Coast. The project to deepen the ship channel to 48 feet began construction in 2019 and is estimated to take seven years to complete.

How is the Deepening Project funded?

The Sabine-Neches Navigation received the first installation of its federal cost-share for the new start construction in 2019. Overall, federal funds will account for 60 percent of the cost while non-federal funding mechanisms will account for 40 percent of the total cost-share.

How much will it cost to deepen the Sabine-Neches Waterway?

The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) estimates that it will take $1.4 billion to deepen the Sabine-Neches Waterway. The Deepening Project is among the largest waterway infrastructure projects currently under construction in the United States.

What are the economic benefits associated with the Deepening Project?

The construction of the Sabine-Neches Waterway will generate widespread economic benefits for Southeast Texas, the state of Texas, and the United States. Those benefits include $5.9 billion in business activity, $2.8 billion in gross product,

and nearly $700 million in retail sales.

At maturity, the Sabine-Neches Waterway will add nearly 528,000 new permanent jobs, $330 billion in new business activity, $103 billion in gross product, and almost $11 billion in federal taxes.

Additionally, the Deepening Project will increase U.S. competitiveness in global markets primarily through energy exports and strengthen our geopolitical position abroad.

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