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Port Houston undergoes Modernization with help from Engineering Firm, Hatch Featured

Port of Houston Authority (PHA) continues to upgrade and modernize elements of its Barbours Cut Container Terminal—one of two major container terminals that they operate—to accommodate a forecasted double-digit growth. PHA oversees 25 miles of terminals along the 52-mile-long ship channel the busiest port in the US in terms of foreign tonnage, second-busiest in overall tonnage, and sixteenth-busiest in the world. PHA has called upon Hatch, an engineering and consultancy firm with more than two decades of experience at Port Houston, to plan and execute upgrades to the in-bound truck check-in gate and security gates, which are nearing their functional capacity. By expanding, relocating, and modernizing the gates and components, the terminal will have a throughput of 2.5 million TEUs, twice that of the existing in-bound gate system.


The modernization project is extensive and complex, requiring upgrades to 6 scanning lanes, 29 processing lanes divided into two groups, 22 trouble-resolution parking stalls, 7 security-check lanes, and support buildings, all which must be constructed and installed without impacting the existing capacity.

“We combined our 20 years of experience at Port Houston with fresh thinking and new ideas to bring about the best solution for PHA. We are bringing the best minds to bear on this project by teaming with key partners. We’ve met repeatedly with PHA and key project stakeholders to understand their challenges, refine the scope, challenge assumptions, and propose alternatives that we think will result in a superior product,” said Isaac Wingfield, Hatch’s project manager.

The first task for Hatch will be to conduct site investigations and extensive planning studies to identify optimal operational layouts; determine remaining pavement life, new pavement design, and traffic impact; identify grading and drainage improvements; ascertain power distribution and define backup generator capacity; review gate technologies and their interconnection demands; improve lighting and utilities; migrate communications and IT; demolish buildings; and develop phasing and sequencing. The studies allow Hatch to recommend a solution and generate a clear and concise Basis of Design that also considers provisions for future buildings.

Hatch will then provide detailed design, procurement support, and construction engineering support for the gate upgrades and modernization.

“We’re excited about what this project represents for our client—their continued commitment to modernizing the Port of Houston and maintain its role as the key port for tonnage in the US,” said Craig Shrader, regional director with Hatch. “We’re happy to be able to bring innovative solutions to life to solve some of PHA’s toughest challenges.”

Source: Hatch

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