New Orleans funds terminal expansion
The Port of New Orleans Board of Commissioners awarded $5.3 million worth of construction contracts for major renovations to the Alabo Street Terminal.
The money will be used to expand the wharf and refurbish the cargo shed that primarily handles steel and other metals.
The project has been approved and funded through the Louisiana Port Priority Program, in which Louisiana public port authorities compete for funding based on the economic benefit the project brings to the state.
The project will extend the wharf by 418 feet, providing a total of 1,731 feet of berthing space at the wharf, which is located in the Lower Ninth Ward. The existing wharf can fit two ships and the additional space will provide berthing for a third ship.
The board awarded a $2.6 million contract to Double Aught Construction, LLC, of Belle Chasse, La. to extend the wharf.
Another $2.7 million contract to refurbish the dockside cargo warehouse was awarded to Crown Roofing Services Inc. of Kenner, La. Crown will install a new roof and siding, reinforce the building's structural framework and upgrade the warehouse's electrical and lighting systems.
The Alabo Street Terminal is operated by Pacorini Global Services LLC. The warehouse at Alabo Street is approved to handle non-ferrous metals, such as copper, aluminum and zinc, traded on the London Metal Exchange.
The two projects awarded today represent the majority of the work that is part of the $7.7 million Alabo Terminal Project.
The commissioners also took action that will allow the port to execute an agreement with the Louisiana Department of Transportation to receive the funds for improvements at France Road Container Terminal's Berth 1.
The France Road Terminals sustained heavy damage during Hurricane Katrina and ship access to the facility has been limited due to the siltation and planned closure of the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet.
However, the Port of New Orleans has signed a lease with Seaboard Marine for the facilities. Seaboard can revive operations at France Road because it operates a fleet of vessels that can gain access to France Road via the Mississippi River and the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Lock.
'We are excited about the opportunity to increase cargo to Central America with the help of Seaboard business in New Orleans, and also to put portions of our France Road facility back in operation,' said Gary LaGrange, the port's president and chief executive officer.
Seaboard has three ships in a twice-weekly service between New Orleans and the North Central America region. Seaboard ships sail from New Orleans to Santo Tomas, Guatemala, and Puerto Cortes, Honduras, and are currently handled at the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal.
The project at France Road is expected to cost $6.7 million with $6 million coming from the state and the remainder coming from the port. The project consists includes new lighting and electrical systems including outlets for refrigerated containers, new paving and fencing.
Engineering design of the project is expected to take place in late 2008, with construction starting in the early 2009.