Dec. 07–The Greater Lafourche Port Commission has received a $16 million grant for a new bridge and roadway around Port Fourchon.
Parts of Louisiana’s congressional delegation announced the grant Thursday after speaking with U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
The Port Commission plans to build a new bridge and roadway that will connect the South Lafourche Airport in Galliano with La. 1 and Port Fourchon.
The federal grant will account for about 47 percent of the project cost, estimated to be $35 million, Sen. Bill Cassidy wrote in a letter of support in July.
The project will construct a new three-lane lift bridge over Bayou Lafourche and a new two-lane 2,000-foot road between La. 1 and La. 3235 to help divert traffic and increase safety, U.S. Sen. John Kennedy’s office said.
“(This grant) will allow for collaboration on local, state, and federal levels to provide intermodal connectivity between the South Lafourche Leonard Miller, Jr. Airport and Port Fourchon,” said Chett Chaisson, executive director of Port Fourchon.
The project is part of the port’s larger plan to enhance the South Lafourche Airport, which provides air support to rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.
“Port Commission Executive Director Chett Chiasson’s leadership and hard work on this BUILD grant will do enormous good in our efforts to continue growing our port,” Kennedy said.
The port generates an estimated $2.6 billion in business and $652 million in local household earnings annually.
It currently services 250 companies and more than 90 percent of the Gulf’s deepwater oil production.
“Port Fourchon is a hub of economic activity, and as America continues to be a leading oil and gas producer, improving access to our offshore rigs is crucial,” U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise said. “Construction of this industrial corridor will not only be a boon to our local economy, but has incredible national significance because of the importance of American energy production.”
The project is part of a $41.1 million Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development grant package awarded to the state. The remaining $25 million will be used to widen Interstate 12 in St. Tammany Parish.
Staff Writer Julia Arenstam can be reached at 448-7636 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @JuliaArenstam.
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