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Gulf Intracoastal Waterway

As required in Chapter 51 of the Texas Transportation Code, TxDOT serves as the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway's non-federal sponsor in Texas.

The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway stretches 1,050 miles along the Gulf of Mexico from Brownsville to St. Marks, Fla. It is the nation's third-busiest inland waterway after the Mississippi and Ohio rivers.

Gulf Intracoastal Waterway in Texas:

  • The 406-mile Texas portion of the waterway links 26 Texas ports and handles 63 percent of the waterway's traffic, roughly 73 million tons of cargo a year.
  • The majority of this cargo is classified as petroleum- and chemical-related products.
  • Cargo carried on the waterway reduces congestion on highways and rail lines, decreases maintenance costs and extends the life of these systems.

For more information, see the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Legislative Report — 83rd Legislature.

Long-range Study

Among its key initiatives, the Maritime Division has begun work on a long-range research project to study, among other things, the impact of dredging the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway to restore it to its authorized dimensions. The study will bring together stakeholders, including the Army Corps of Engineers, industry representatives and users of the waterway.

More Information

The division also participates in the Texas Freight Advisory Committee to coordinate the planning of freight movement through ports and waterways.