Ports & Terminals

Helena (Ark.) Harbor Receives Marine Highway Designation

Helena Harbor and Phillips County (Ark.) Economic Development officials recently announced that the harbor has been named a “designated project” on the U.S. Marine Highway System by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The slackwater harbor is located near Helena-West Helena on the Lower Mississippi River about an hour south of Memphis, Tenn.

John Edwards, the harbor’s general counsel and economic development director, called the designation a “significant milestone” for the harbor and 4,000-acre industrial park “that will lead to expanded use of navigation on the Mississippi River.”

Harbor officials applied for the designation in July and had developed a project to have container-on-barge service available for Envirotech and other companies. Envirotech, a producer of biodegradable disinfectants for the food and water services, has a production facility at the harbor.  

Another company, containerized marine cargo carrier Seacor Holdings Inc., has agreed to provide transportation services for harbor tenants, officials said.

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The marine highway designation makes Helena Harbor eligible for an annual grant funding program that could support the development and expansion of waterborne transportation services. This year’s Marine Highway program will award $10.8 million for such projects.

In September, the harbor announced it had received a $528,922 Delta Regional Authority grant to resurface a major road and to continue improving the eight miles of rail it owns.