Port of Houston Authority Selects LAN to Design Initial Phase of New Rail Line to Bayport Terminal

(HOUSTON – Nov. 25, 2014) The Port of Houston Authority (PHA) has selected Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc. (LAN) to design Phase 1 of a new rail line to the Bayport Terminal. The project, which involves design of approximately 6500 linear feet of primary rail line, will extend the existing Union Pacific Rail Corridor along State Highway 146 into the facility.

The project represents the initial phase of the development of planned rail service into the Bayport Intermodal Yard. At full development, three parallel tracks will service the intermodal yard and are expected to handle as much as 20 percent of the overall container volume through the Bayport Terminal.

The project will provide a number of significant benefits, including:

  • Creating more jobs for the local community.
  • Providing cheaper transportation of consumer goods.
  • Facilitating growth of the terminal as a regional conduit for containerized cargo.
  • Enabling removal of trucks from the highway by transferring a portion of the container volume to rail. This will improve the regional air quality and highway safety by taking trucks off the road.
  • Expanding the market potential for import and export of containers through the Port of Houston.

“The Port of Houston provides a tremendous benefit to the local, state and national economy,” said Ty Thomas, P.E., LAN’s vice president. “We are pleased to continue our long history of service to the Port Authority and partner with them to make their vision of providing rail service into the Bayport Terminal a reality.”

The project will cross three state highways using quiet zone systems. PHA and LAN will coordinate with local community partners to make the project as community-friendly as possible through the implementation of quiet zone rail crossings, and potential installation of sound walls.  The project will be constructed in concert with a separate project to build a 20-foot high sight-and-sound berm that will help shield the rail line from the adjacent communities.

The project also will involve modifications to rail tracks serving an existing industry and add two potential new industry service tracks. Other elements of the project include pipeline and utility crossings and associated adjustments, analysis and mitigation of floodplain impacts to a regional drainage corridor, stormwater analysis and new culvert crossings of regional drainage systems, crossing and partial filling of an existing private detention pond, and design of the overall railroad drainage system.

The design of the $13.8 million project will be completed in mid-2015 with construction starting later in the year.

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