Baton Rouge: The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) and the Port of South Louisiana announced the completion of the port's new dock extension, which will help to improve the port’s efficiency by allowing workers to handle two Panamax size ships at the same time.
DOTD contributed $14 million toward this project through DOTD’s Port Priority Program, whose goal is to improve the infrastructure of Louisiana’s ports and harbors, provide jobs, reduce congestion and improve safety. An additional $1 million is programmed for this project later this year.
"True progress is achieved through partnership," said DOTD Secretary Sherri H. LeBas. "The completion of this project showcases the collaborative efforts of the state and port working together for the best interests of our citizens."
Each year, DOTD invests approximately $20 million on port projects through its Port Priority Program. Over the last five years, over $144 million has been invested on port infrastructure improvements through this program.
"I appreciate DOTD working with us to improve our port’s infrastructure," said Port of South Louisiana Director Joel Chaisson. "Keeping our ports competitive is of the utmost importance to our communities and economy as they are very important to our state."
Louisiana’s ports serve a vital role by creating and supporting 73,000 jobs and contributing approximately $2.5 billion per year to the state’s economy. This project will help to create an estimated 36 new jobs.
The Port of South Louisiana, which stretches 54 miles along the Mississippi River, is the largest tonnage port district in the western hemisphere. The facilities within St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, and St. James parishes handled over 278 million short tons of cargo in 2012.
Over 4,000 oceangoing vessels and 55,000 barges dock at the Port of South Louisiana each year, making it the top ranked in the country for export tonnage and total tonnage.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is committed to delivering transportation and public works systems that enhance the quality of life. In addition to more than 16,600 miles of roadway, including over 930 miles of interstate, DOTD supports the development of the state’s aviation, marine and rail infrastructures. Through this work, we are able to facilitate economic development, create job opportunities, improve vital evacuation routes, and make critical freight corridors safer and more efficient.