Posted February 13, 2020
The Port of South Louisiana has been awarded a $13.4 million federal transportation grant, which will be used to improve its Globalplex industrial park and allow it to carry heavier cargo.
The U.S. Department of Transportation funding will be used to build a new floor in an existing bulk cargo warehouse, improve the conveyor that runs from the dock to the warehouse and rehabilitate an access road, said Paul Aucoin, the port's executive director. Funding will also be used to build a new rail spur and dock access road to support the movement of heavy cargo, such as prebuilt modules used in petrochemical construction, Aucoin said.
"This will all enhance the competitiveness of the Port of South Louisiana," he said.
Once the port receives the money, it will go through the bid process for the work. Work on some sections, such as the conveyor improvements, should begin within three months, Aucoin said. Other more complicated portions, like the dock access road that includes a bridge over a levee, will begin construction in six months, he said.
"This will all be useful," Aucoin said. "We are thrilled to death to be awarded this grant."
Globalplex is a 335-acre industrial park off Airline Highway in Reserve that is operated by Associated Terminals. About 315 people work at the facility. Aucoin said the improvements could lead to more hiring. "This will allow us to handle more tonnage and more tonnage means more jobs," he said.
Aucoin praised members of the south Louisiana Congressional delegation for their work in helping get the grant: U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, and John Kennedy, R-Madisonville, and U.S. Reps. Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge, Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, and Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson.
The money for the port improvements came from the Department of Transportation's Port Infrastructure Grant Program.