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Port of New Orleans gets nearly $97M in state money for expansion projects

Posted on June 15, 2022

The Port of New Orleans said Tuesday it was allocated nearly $97 million by the Louisiana Legislature during the recently-completed 2022 session to help pay for its new container cranes, design a critical road in St. Bernard Parish and bolster funding for several of its other expansion projects.

Port officials said the money, which was part of a broad expansion of state funding for infrastructure projects across the state, will be put towards growing its existing upriver container and cold storage terminals. It will also be used to build a road in St. Bernard Parish that is a crucial part of the infrastructure for the proposed $1.5 billion Louisiana International Terminal, the downriver container port being built in Violet.

Brandy Christian, CEO of Port Nola and the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, said the work will help New Orleans compete with ports like Los Angeles. “These projects will position Port NOLA to take full advantage of current cargo opportunities, including serving as an alternative gateway to the West Coast,” she said in a prepared statement.

A key project is building an elevated roadway on the backside of the Forty Arpent Canal to connect the proposed new terminal in Violet with Interstate-510. The port has faced opposition from a group of St. Bernard residents who are primarily worried that a busy container port in Violet would cause major traffic bottlenecks and have a detrimental impact on the environment.

The road would be a key part of diverting truck traffic away from the roadway network that currently exists in the parish.

“This new infrastructure will also support St. Bernard Parish population growth, attract and retain industry, reduce emissions by alleviating congestion, and provide an alternate hurricane evacuation route for residents,” Christian said.

Also, $30.5 million of state money was allocated to finish the rehabilitation of the antiquated St. Claude Avenue Bridge, which is vulnerable to bottlenecks.

The existing upriver Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal Container Crane Expansion Project got a further $8.1 million. Those funds will be used to complete the installation of four new container gantry cranes that move cargo to and from ships. The cranes arrived in December and are expected to be operational next month.

Also, just under $8 million of state money will go toward the $49 million expansion of Port NOLA’s Jourdan Road Cold Storage Terminal, which will allow it to nearly double in size to 304,000 square feet.


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