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3/7/2016 10:00:00 AM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Port of Corpus Christi to Get $3.3 Million to Upgrade Roads

Port Corpus Christi

The Port of Corpus Christi will receive a share of $20 million from the Texas Transportation Commission for road improvements along the Joe Fulton International Trade Corridor.

Corpus Christi's port was one of nine Texas ports the commission funded this year. It will get $3.3 million.

The award is timely for the nation's fifth-largest port based on tonnage: It's on the cusp of a major uptick in road traffic.

Italian firm M&G Resins USA is just months from opening a 412-acre, $1 billion polyethylene terephthalate resin-processing plant on the Nueces Bay shoreline. The port plans to widen a portion of the corridor where it connects with Mike Carrell Road, and add turn lanes.

Doing so is a step toward making it safer to drive and improving access to the facility, said John LaRue, executive director for Corpus Christi's port.

"These are significant safety projects that we have to undertake," said LaRue, who also is chairman of  the state Port Authority Advisory Committee.

The transportation commission announced the funding March 2.

Road improvement is just the latest in a series of recent projects that either are planned or have been carried out along the port's Inner Harbor in anticipation of M&G's arrival:

The port is in the second and final phase of an expansion of its Nueces River Rail Yard. The plan involves creating eight unit train sidings and providing rail storage for up to 1,247 railcars. The price tag for the second phase was about $28 million, $22 million of which was paid with a grant from the Texas Department of Transportation's Mobility Fund. The rest was covered by port authority reserves.

The first phase cost $18 million and called for nearly 2 miles of rail, four parallel tracks, an additional track for parking locomotives and about 14,000 track feet, enough storage for 200 railcars. It wrapped up last year.

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By Chris Ramirez
Corpus Christi (Texas) Caller-Times


Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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