FILE - The Port of South Louisiana

The Port of South Louisiana

The Port of South Louisiana will get $13.4 million from the federal government to improve efficiency, officials announced Tuesday.

The “Globalplex Multi-Modal Connections Project” will include a new heavy capacity dock access bridge, an access road, a rail spur and a dry storage area with conveyors to move bulk material.

The Louisiana project received one of 55 similar grants awarded throughout the nation, according to U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy’s office. The project is expected to extend the facility’s useful life by more than 20 years while improving efficiency standards, allowing smoother vessel transportation and promoting agricultural exports from within the state, Cassidy said.

“The Port of South Louisiana helps drive the state and national economies in a big way,” U.S. Sen. John Kennedy said. “I’m excited to see this grant create and protect jobs in LaPlace and around the region.”

The Port of South Louisiana is the largest port district by tonnage in the Western Hemisphere, handling more than 258 million short tons of cargo last year, according to port officials. More than 3,945 oceangoing vessels and 54,921 barges call at the Port of South Louisiana each year, making it the top port in the United States for import tonnage and total tonnage, the port says.

“Our ports are an integral component of our nation’s economic success,” U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao said. “As the administration continues to invest in America’s infrastructure, this program will further modernize and improve the efficiency of our waterways.”

Staff Reporter

David Jacobs is a Baton Rouge-based award-winning journalist who has written about government, politics, business and culture in Louisiana for almost 15 years. He joined The Center Square in 2018.