A rendering of the planned Louisiana International Terminal. (Courtesy of Port NOLA)
Ports & Terminals

$230.5 Million Committed To Port NOLA Projects

During the 2024 regular session of the Louisiana Legislature, lawmakers committed $230.5 million to Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) infrastructure projects, with the majority of that directed toward the port’s planned container terminal in St. Bernard Parish.

“We want to thank Gov. Jeff Landry and the Louisiana Legislature for this significant funding commitment,” said Ronald Wendel Jr., the port’s acting president and CEO. “These critical infrastructure projects will solidify Louisiana’s position as the premier global gateway in the Gulf and ensure thousands of jobs, as well as long-term economic growth for the region and state.”

The Louisiana International Terminal (LIT), to be located in the St. Bernard Parish community of Violet, received $10 million in direct state general funding and $140 million in Priority 5 general obligation bond funding, essentially a planning mechanism for construction contracts that will not require cash expenditures during the current fiscal year. The state directed a total of $50 million toward the St. Bernard Transportation Corridor, a planned elevated roadway that would connect LIT directly to Interstate 10 and provide an additional access point for lower St. Bernard Parish. Lastly, the state committed $30.5 million to the rehabilitation, planning and construction of the St. Claude Bridge, a 105-year-old, four-lane drawbridge over the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal, with $3 million coming from the state’s general fund.

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,” said Julia Fisher-Cormier, commissioner of the Louisiana Office of Multimodal Commerce. “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.”

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LIT, which carries a price tag of $1.8 billion, will be located 17 miles below the Crescent City Connection bridge, which poses air draft restrictions for vessels calling on Port NOLA’s upriver terminals, including its existing Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal. LIT will have no such air draft restrictions.

The port, which is in the midst of the federal permitting process for LIT, expects construction on the project to get underway in 2025, with the first phase of the terminal coming online in 2028. By 2050, the terminal is expected to account for 32,000 new jobs nationwide, with more than 18,000 of those in Louisiana and 4,300 in St. Bernard Parish. The port expects LIT to generate more than $1 billion in new state and local tax revenue.

“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,” said Michael Hecht, president and CEO of Greater New Orleans Inc. “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.”

Besides the $230.5 million commitment from the state, LIT has garnered $300 million in federal funding and an $800 million commitment from New Jersey-based Ports America and MSC’s Terminal Investment Limited. The port has also committed $500 million of its own funding for the project.