BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The port of Brownsville held its annual State of the Port address in Rancho Viejo, highlighting achievements and the future of the port.

The event was well attended by local and state officials and community leaders.

Sergio Tito Lopez, the chairman for the Brownsville Navigation district said despite the challenges over the last years, the Port of Brownsville maintained focus on its mission, “The Port that Works.”

“We’ll work for you; we’ll do whatever we need to do so you can succeed,” said Lopez.

Lopez said 2021 was another record-breaking fiscal year for the port.

“We moved more tons than ever before, like I said it’s 4.3 million metric tons of steel and 6.3 million of fuels,” said Lopez.

The total unaudited operating revenue dollars also broke their record with a total of $34 million dollars.

“I will tell you as we look into 2022, it looks like that trend is progressing,” said Eduardo A. Campirano, the Port of Brownsville’s president and CEO.

Campirano highlighted the new South Port Connector Road which opened in early March.

“It’s essentially the first piece of a much larger project, which is called the east loop. How can we redirect commercial truck traffic from the bridge to the port by going around the southeast part of the city of Brownsville and get away from the heavily traveled corridor such as International Boulevard and Boca Chica,” said Campirano.

He said aside from the financial and infrastructure achievements at the port, ship recycling is continuing at the port with the retired USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier on its way.

“The USS Kitty Hawk is en route, that would be the sixth aircraft carrier that’s come to the Port of Brownsville for recycling. It should be arriving as I understand, around the first of May,” he said.

Dr. Ray Perryman, economist, president, and CEO of The Perryman Group was the keynote speaker at the event and said the port and region are on track for more success.

“I think this area has a very bright future. There are obviously challenges, we’re seeing those all over the world right now that we have to work our way through. We’ve been through a terrible pandemic, we’re now dealing with some of the fallout with the situation in Ukraine and that sort of thing but if you look to the future and you look at the things that drive future growth, this Area has enormous opportunities and enormous resources and I think it’s going to do very very well.,” said Dr. Perryman.