Ports & Terminals

Hancock County Port & Harbor Commission Continues Work On Dock, Railroad Facility

The Hancock County Port & Harbor Commission along the Mississippi Gulf Coast is continuing work on a new maritime dock and railroad facility at Port Bienville Industrial Park. The industrial park is located on a canal near where Mulatto Bayou connects with the Pearl River. The Pearl River, which forms the boundary between Louisiana and Mississippi in that part of the state, then runs into the Gulf of Mexico, connecting with the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

The $8.8 million project includes a 600-foot bulkhead with a 40-foot apron that can accommodate three barges. The facility will also feature a 250-foot crushed stone lay down yard extending from the apron for operations and storage.

The project will also make two track extensions for the Port Bienville Shortline Railroad in order to facilitate rail-to-barge intermodal operations. Access roads will also be improved.


The project received $7.4 million of RESTORE Act funding in 2017. Because of that, the project has been dubbed the “RESTORE Dock.” The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality’s GOMESA program added another $510,000, and the Hancock County Port & Harbor Commission put up the remaining $870,000.

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“The Port & Harbor Commission is committed to growing economic opportunities,” port CEO Bill Cotter said. “Thanks to the support of federal, state and local partners, this infrastructure investment will support business operations and continued growth of our maritime business.”

Gill’s Crane & Dozer Service of Slidell, La., was awarded the contract for the project. The notice to proceed was issued in May 2021. The project is expected to be complete by this fall.

The RESTORE Dock is part of a 35-acre facility on the industrial canal at Port Bienville. The port hopes to capitalize on the facility’s intermodal connections to grow trainload operations, bulk material handling, liquid transfer activities and warehousing for imports and exports.

Port Bienville currently handles about 480,000 tons of material each year at its public and private docks.

“The Port & Harbor Commission continues to invest for the future of Hancock County,” Cotter said. “Our industrial assets provide the logistical solutions that allow existing tenants to expand and attract new businesses to the area.”

The port’s 12-foot channel connects directly with the GIWW, and its shortline railroad offers connections to the CSX. More than 8,000 loaded rail cars cross the port’s 17 miles of track each year.