HDR to Design Two New Projects for Port Houston

HDR has been selected to design two projects for Port Houston: a portion of its major channel widening project and a new, updated maintenance facility.

HDR will be the lead engineer and designer for two of six segments in the Port’s channel improvement initiative, the highest-profile project underway at one of the busiest ports in the U.S. Our contract covers engineering, design, project coordination and other consultation services.

Houston is the second busiest U.S. port in overall tonnage and busiest for foreign tonnage, and this project design widens and deepens the Houston ship channel to for the next generation in safety, efficiency and larger ships. Project manager Neil McLellan and project director Dave Weston are leading a team of over 35 professionals from HDR offices in Houston, Corpus Christi, Austin and Lafayette. Many East Coast ports are expanding in the wake of the Panama Canal widening, and HDR is well positioned to help them through that process.

“This project is important to the people of Houston and to the local economy,” said HDR’s Ports & Maritime Director Jeff Massengill. “We are thrilled to be able to help fulfill Port Houston’s vision.”


HDR will provide construction documents, environmental coordination, cultural resources, public outreach and industry coordination on an expedited schedule. There is strong demand from local industry to finish the project quickly, and as a result we are working with Port Houston to try to finish work by 2024, years earlier than a typical federal schedule for such projects.

The Houston project is the fifth port that we have assisted with its channel widening since the Panama Canal expansion. The others are Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Freeport and Sabine-Neches.

Port Houston has also awarded a professional services contract to us for the programming (sizing), design, and construction support for a new maintenance facility at the Barbours Cut Terminal.  The new facility is expected to improve maintenance efficiency and productivity by centralizing maintenance activities, adding additional spare parts storage, and expanding outside work areas.  

About HDR  

For over a century, HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Our expertise spans more than 10,000 employees in more than 200 locations around the world — and counting. Our engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services bring an impressive breadth of knowledge to every project. Our optimistic approach to finding innovative solutions defined our past and drives our future. For more information, please visit