Chett Chiasson updated locals about things going on at Port Fourchon. The Port's Executive Director outlined several projects ongoing at the port and gave his plans for the future.
See his thoughts in their entirety below:
Although we are still a little more than three months from the end of 2019, I’d like to give everyone an up-to-date look at where the Port stands TODAY.
Thanks to the steadfast efforts of our Commissioners and staff here at the GLPC, we are positioned well to capitalize on numerous opportunities in the next few years and beyond.
For starters, our Final 203 feasibility report is about to be submitted to the US Army Corps of Engineers for approval. This approval will pave the way for us to dredge to 50-feet in Belle Pass and build a Deepwater rig, repair, and refurbishment facility that will most certainly spur on further investments in our Port and Parish.
Of further importance, our future LNG project continues to inch closer to becoming a reality. A recent productive meeting with Energy World officials reaffirmed the company’s initial commitment that will see them investing nearly $900 million in Port Fourchon and Lafourche Parish. A critical milestone is set to be met in early 2020, which will put us well on our way to seeing the Fourchon LNG facility finding a permanent home in our Port.
Additionally, we have begun following our design-bid-build model for the construction of an Airport Corridor and Bridge project that we received a $16.4 million federal BUILD grant for at the end of last year. This $35 million project that has grant, capital outlay, port and Lafourche Parish Government money attached to it will set us down the path to having an industrial park on the same footprint as our airport in the next few years.
We are also excited to announce we have applied for another Federal grant program specific to coastal sea ports. This application pursues $14.7 of an estimated $24.5 million to construct a new bridge in Port Fourchon to replace the one that was removed in 2018. When combined with the recent announcement from the state that they would invest $150 million to complete the elevated portion of LA 1 down to Port Fourchon, which includes having LA DOTD submit for a federal INFRA Grant for another $150 million, our future certainly looks brighter than ever.
Our approach has been one of adapting to changes and being frugal with our spending in order to place ourselves in a position where we can commit upwards of $25 million for the LA 1 project, as we recently announced. Those funding sources along with $25 million from private industry will allow for the completion of the elevated portion of LA Hwy 1 between Leeville and Golden Meadow in the coming years.
Please know our employees, which number only 40, are committed to working towards our ambitious goals, and we are on pace to meet all of them because that’s who we are.
Combining the public and private investments mentioned amount to about $1.7 billion coming into the 10th Ward of Lafourche Parish in the coming years.
Our founding GLPC fore fathers set us down a path to be successful and our current Commissioners keep us moving towards continued prosperity as a Port and parish.
In the next several years, you will see large-scale investments being made by our Port and other partners to not only move our Parish forward, but to provide more in the way of mitigation to help protect our entire region as well as sites to enjoy recreational pursuits such as kayaking and fishing.
We are eager to see what tomorrow brings, as should all of you. But, please know that this is only a small sampling of all the great things that are going on at your Port TODAY, Tomorrow, and in the future as we quickly approach our 60th anniversary in 2020.
Chett Chiasson, MPA
Greater Lafourche Port Commission