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HOUSTON-Following a close to four-decade stint with the Port of Houston Authority, executive director H. Thomas Kornegay will retire from the post, effective February 1. During his tenure with the Port, Kornegay oversaw the $700-million deepening and widening of the Houston Ship Channel, as well as construction and operation of the Barbours Cut and Bayport Terminals.

According to a release from the Port of Houston Authority, Kornegay is stepping down for personal reasons associated with the recent death of his mother. Jim Edmonds, the Port’s chairman, will convene a special meeting of the Port Commission on January 30 to consider the next steps.

Kornegay joined the Port of Houston Authority’s engineering department in the early 1970s and has also served as the Port’s managing director. He was promoted to executive director in 1992.

While with the engineering department, Kornegay developed the master plan for the close to 500-acre Fentress Bracewell Barbours Cut Container Terminal, which opened in 1976 at 1515 E. Barbours Cut Blvd in LaPorte, TX. Close to 30 years later, Kornegay oversaw planning and development of the 1,000-acre Bayport Container and Cruise Terminal, which broke ground in 2004. Bayport’s first phase opened in early 2007 at 12619 Port Rd. in Seabrook, TX, and work on the $74-million second phase is underway.

“Service to the Port of Houston Authority has been at the center of my career and my life for almost 37 years,” said Kornegay in a prepared statement. “Over the course of my career, it has been exciting and gratifying to have a leadership role in helping to advance the mission and the purpose of the Port of Houston and the port authority. It’s been especially satisfying for a young engineer who started out on Houston’s east side to have a hand in developing Barbours Cut Terminal, which set the course for continued economic development in the Houston Metropolitan region for the past 32 years.”

Representatives from Port of Houston Authority were unavailable for comment at press time.

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