The Port of Bay City Authority was created by the State of Texas in 1960 and tasked with keeping the Colorado River navigable (with the US Army Corps of Engineers) and with regulating port facilities on the Matagorda County's portions of the Colorado River and Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. A six-member board of commissioners is elected by county voters to oversee the Port of Bay City Authority.
The Port of Bay City Authority has a facility on the Colorado River about 24 kilometers (15 miles) upriver from the Intracoastal Waterway locks. The Port of Bay City handles barge traffic and loads/off-loads and stores products.
Port of Bay City facilities occupy about 121 hectares of land that is open for industrial development. It also has a terminal in a turning basin with modern docks for bulk and liquid cargo and a metal shed. The channel leading to the Port of Bay City Authority's facility is about 61 meters (200 feet) long with a 3.7-meter (12-foot) depth.
The Port of Bay City turning basin is about 213 meters (700 feet) long and 152 meters (500 feet) wide with an average depth of 3.7 meters (12 feet). The terminal facility is a modern dock about 61 meters (200 feet) long and 36.6 meters (120 feet) wide. The terminal shed on the dock covers 743 square meters (eight thousand square feet).
The Port of Bay City's liquid cargo dock, with valves and pipeline connections, is located adjacent to the terminal dock. The lower level of the dock is used to off-load heavy-pressure vessels on steering axles. It is one of the few docks of this type on the Gulf coast.