Board Dedicates $25M Mississippi River Intermodal Terminal
NEW ORLEANS – The Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans joined a host of elected officials and industry partners today to dedicate the Port’s new $25 million Mississippi River Intermodal Terminal. The terminal, made possible by a $16.7 million federal transportation TIGER grant, has a capacity of moving 160,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) per year by rail.
“This new terminal provides a highly efficient option for our customers moving cargo via rail,” said Gary LaGrange, Port President and CEO. “I want to thank the entire Louisiana congressional delegation for their assistance and support in obtaining the federal funding that made this state-of-the-art terminal possible.”
The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant provided about 68 percent of the total funding for the terminal. The Port’s capital budget covered the remaining investment, which provided 280 temporary construction jobs and will create an estimated 100 new permanent maritime jobs.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said, “When we invest in transportation infrastructure, we’re building for our future. The new Mississippi River Intermodal Terminal will move marine and rail cargo more efficiently, creating new, exciting opportunities for trade and growth that will yield hundreds of new jobs. The Port of New Orleans plays a major role in our global economy and is an irreplaceable economic engine for our City and State.”
“This new terminal will facilitate the movement of marine and rail cargo, stimulate international commerce and enhance safety – all while reducing the carbon footprint of regional and national transportation systems within our market – which constitutes 62 percent of consumers of the United States,” said Michael Kearney, Vice Chairman of the Port’s Board of Commissioners.
Industry partners, such as Patrick Burgoyne, President and CEO of Ceres Global, which operates the facility jointly with New Orleans Terminal, lauded the new container transfer facility, as well.
"The Port of New Orleans recognized a critical infrastructure requirement to sustain competitiveness and delivered,” said Mr. Burgoyne. “At New Orleans Terminal and Ceres we are pleased to work alongside the Port, City and State of Louisiana. We will do our part on competitiveness and this new Intermodal Railyard will help tremendously in that regard.”
The new railyard features four tracks with 1,550 feet of working pad for each track, in addition to a runaround track. Two new rubber-tired gantry cranes built by Konecranes are part of the project scope, further increasing cargo handling and efficiency. A new marshalling yard of 18-inch concrete paving will provide an additional 64,000 TEUs of capacity in the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal. In addition, the new terminal design will make five more acres available for the planned expansion of the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal.
“CN has and is expanding our inland reach,” said John Orr, Senior Vice President – Southern Region for CN Railroad. “We are marketing our additional inland points such as Indianapolis, Decatur (Illinois), Chippewa Falls and Arcadia (Wisconsin), as well as growth in the Detroit area. CN is proud to be the primary intermodal solution for the Port of New Orleans serving the major geographical freight hubs in North America. CN is working in collaboration with our partners to continue to grow the business through strategic marketing initiatives.”
“New Orleans is a major player for national and international cargo operations and now we have the assets and capabilities needed to remain competitive at the highest level in the global market,” said David Schulingkamp, Chairman of the Board of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, the short-line railroad that provides the Port’s connectivity to its six Class 1 railroad partners. “This new railyard will improve shipping logistics tremendously, which will in turn grow cargo business for the Port of New Orleans.”
A broad team of local businesses contributed to the successful completion of the terminal. Metairie, La.-based Hard Rock Construction LLC performed the construction for the terminal, along with subcontractors Geismar, La.-based Pointer Smith LLC, Jefferson, La.-based Barnes Electric, Inc., New Orleans-based CFR Trucking and Westwego, La.-based Beverly Industries. AECOM Technical Services and its team provided design and construction administration services for the project. Team members included Baton Rouge-based GOTECH Inc., New Orleans-based Professional Service Industries Inc., Metairie, La.-based Eustis Engineering, Metairie, La.-based IMC Consulting Engineers Inc., Harvey, La.-based Jemison & Partners, and Boos Navarre Consulting Engineers.
The Port of New Orleans is a deep-draft multipurpose port at the center of the world’s busiest port system — Louisiana’s Lower Mississippi River. Connected to major inland markets and Canada via 14,500 miles of waterways, six class-1 railroads and the interstate highway system, the Port is the ideal gateway for steel, project cargo, containers, coffee, natural rubber, chemicals, forest products, manufactured goods and cruising.
An extensive network of ocean carrier services, along with added-value services like transloading of bulk into containers, make the Port of New Orleans the superior logistics solution for many types of cargo. To stay ahead of market demand, the Port has invested more than $100 million in capital-improvement projects since 2012 and has a Master Plan to expand the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal to an annual capacity of 1.5 million TEUs.