Louisiana’s Port Fourchon To Receive 2018 BUILD Grant
On December 7, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced $1.5 billion in funding for a total of 91 infrastructure projects through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation grant program, the successor to the Obama-era TIGER grant program. The program supports road, rail, transit and port infrastructure projects nationwide, both urban and rural.
Of those 91 projects chosen, 14 were port-related projects. One of the winning projects will support Port Fourchon, a critical oil and gas support port in Lafourche Parish, La., right on the Gulf Coast. Port Fourchon stands to receive $16.4 million from the BUILD grant program for a transit project estimated to cost just over $35 million.
The Port Fourchon project, which seeks to better connect the port to its regional airport, has two major components: first to construct a 3-lane vertical lift span bridge over Bayou Lafourche and, second, to build a new two-lane road connecting LA 1 and LA 3235. Once the project is complete, the port will gain efficiencies in transporting cargoes between the port and the South Lafourche Airport. The new bridge and roadway will also direct freight traffic away from neighborhoods, schools and hospitals. The road will also bolster access to a planned 1,200-acre industrial park.
The grant award comes as Port Fourchon continues to build out its port footprint and pursues deepening its main channel to 50 feet.
Port Fourchon, led by the Greater Lafourche Port Commission, which was established in 1960, is the southernmost port in Louisiana. According to the port commission, Port Fourchon services more than 90 percent of the Gulf’s deepwater oil production and is involved in delivering about 18 percent of the United States’ oil supply. More than 1.5 million barrels of crude oil are moved by pipelines through Port Fourchon daily. Up to 400 vessels and 1,200 trucks call on the port per day, according to the port.