Louisiana allocates $230 million to Port NOLA

Louisiana allocates $230 million to Port NOLA projects

The Louisiana Legislature’s 2024 regular session has allocated $230.5 million to the Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) for infrastructure projects.

This includes the port’s new downriver container terminal, the Louisiana International Terminal (LIT), and the St. Bernard Transportation Corridor, which is intended to connect the $1.8 billion LIT to the interstate system and provide a road long desired by St. Bernard Parish leaders and residents.

Port NOLA Acting President and CEO and Acting CEO of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, Ronald Wendel, Jr, said: “These critical infrastructure projects will solidify Louisiana’s position as the premier global gateway in the Gulf, ensure thousands of jobs as well as long-term economic growth for the region and state.”

LIT has received $10 million in direct state general financing and $140 million in Priority 5 state money to assist design and construction operations.

An extra $50 million in state financing is still available to assist the building of the St. Bernard Transportation Corridor, as well as $30.5 million ($3 million of which comes from the direct state general budget) for the repair, design, and construction of the St. Claude Bridge.

READ: Port NOLA granted $226 million for Louisiana International Terminal

Julia Fisher-Cormier, Commissioner of the Louisiana Office of Multimodal Commerce, stated: “The Legislature’s backing of infrastructure funding to support the Louisiana International Terminal builds upon commitments of more than $1.1 billion from the federal government and private sector.

“These are the type of public investments Louisiana must make to transform our trade-based economy and secure our position as a future leader of global trade.”

LIT will be built near Violet, Louisiana, 17 miles downstream from the Crescent City Connection bridge, removing air draft restrictions for vessels now docked at the Port of New Orleans.

It will serve vessels of all sizes, significantly improving Louisiana’s import and export capacity, promoting strategic inland expansion, and allowing container-on-barge and intermodal services to flourish.

READ: Port NOLA announces $7 million grant for sustainable infrastructure

LIT is reportedly Louisiana’s greatest public economic development initiative. By 2050, it is predicted to provide 32,000 new employment statewide, including over 18,000 in Louisiana and 4,300 in St. Bernard Parish, as well as more than $1 billion in additional state and local tax income.

Michael Hecht, President and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc., said: “Louisiana lawmakers have clearly spoken with this legislation, which will help build one of the state’s most critical transportation assets – The Louisiana International Terminal.

“Not only will this project generate thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenues, it will ensure that Louisiana continues to lead in international trade, its raison d’être.”

LIT is now undergoing the federal permitting procedure. Construction is anticipated to start in 2025, with the first berth opening in 2028.

In May, Port NOLA handled a total of 133,845 TEU during the third quarter of fiscal year 2024.

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