U.S. Maritime Administrator Admiral Mark H. Buzby, along with Senator Bill Cassidy and Representative Garret Graves, formally presented a check for $13.4 million to Port of South Louisiana Executive Director Paul Aucoin, a grant approved through the new U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) Port Infrastructure Development (PID) program for a Multi-Modal Connections project at Globalplex Intermodal Terminal.
“We are very excited to have the opportunity to work more directly with America’s ports to enhance their facilities,” said Maritime Administrator Mark H. Buzby. “The grants awarded will ensure that these facilities are operating at their highest, most productive capacities.”
The improvement project, which was also awarded funds from Louisiana’s Capital Outlay program, will include a new heavy capacity dock access bridge, an access road, a rail spur, and a dry storage area with conveyors to move bulk material.
“We appreciate Senators Cassidy and Kennedy, and Congressmen Graves, Richmond, and Scalise for their support and assistance in securing this grant for the Port of South Louisiana,” said Executive Director Paul Aucoin. “We also extend our gratitude to Secretary Elaine Chao for granting this award. We take it as a show of confidence in the Port’s significance to the national economy.”
Globalplex is a 335-acre maritime industrial park located in the heart of the Port of South Louisiana district, affording easy access to the Canadian National (CN) railroad, local/state/interstate roadways, local and international airports, and the Mississippi River. The facility has three docks, 340,000 square feet of warehouse space, 800,000 square feet of open storage pad space, bulk domes, and an available industrial site. Over the last 20 years, the Port of South Louisiana has been making continuous improvements to
Globalplex’s infrastructure and cargo has quadrupled since 2007.
The Globalplex Multi-Modal Connections project is in direct response to a demand resulting from the increase in throughput. The plan aims to bring the current infrastructure to working standards and increase warehousing options along with improving the linked transportation network, increasing the capacity and addressing the remaining bottlenecks at the facility to allow it to function as an efficient public bulk and breakbulk facility.
“Louisiana’s ports are vital to ensure a thriving economy,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This grant provides improvements to the Port of South Louisiana that will foster economic growth and vessel efficiency on the Mississippi River.”
Improvements revolve around the terminal’s general cargo dock and Building 71, a 54K square-foot warehouse that is currently undergoing skeletal repairs. PID grant moneys are slated for (1) the design and construction of a new general cargo dock access bridge/road to support heavy-haul permit loads or “off-road” trucks, (2) to strengthen the foundation of Building 71 to accommodate warehousing of heavier commodities, (3) to improve the conveyor system from Building 71 to adjacent storage domes and bulk dock that will allow transfer of bulk cargo in a closed loop, (4) the installation of rail spur connecting Canadian National railroad to Building 71, and (5) the paving of a looped access road through Building 71 that will connect to Globalplex’s entrance road.
These upgrades will complement projects currently underway: the Globalplex Dock Reinforcement project that will strengthen the general cargo dock, and the Globalplex Equipment Construction project, the installation of two new mobile harbor cranes that will increase efficiency for existing cargo and prepare the port for expansion.
“The Mississippi River is America’s commerce superhighway and an economic engine for our state, region and the nation,” said Congressman Garret Graves. “South Louisiana’s port system is a critical link in the maritime trade chain that connects made-in-America products to the global marketplace. Investments into facilities like the Globalplex public terminal at the Port of South Louisiana are critical to maintaining our state’s world-class maritime capabilities and ensure the continued flow of goods that our nation and world ports rely on.”
The multi-modal connections project will pave the way for business growth and vitality, increasing the efficiency, productivity and reliability of cargo transport that reduces the carbon footprint of regional transportation systems, and eventually, leading to more affordable goods for U.S. consumers.