Commission OKs ’08 port budget

Harriet Golden
December 21, 2007
Rita LaGrange
December 27, 2007
Harriet Golden
December 21, 2007
Rita LaGrange
December 27, 2007

Several improvement projects will continue to fuel the expansion of Port Fourchon and the South Lafourche Leonard Miller Jr. Airport. Monies for the ongoing construction and improvements are included in the Greater Lafourche Port Commission’s 2008 budget, which was approved at its recent monthly meeting in Galliano.

Without significant comment, board members signed off on a $62 million budget for port operations and construction for 2008. The figure represents a 28 percent increase from the 2007 budget of $48 million – due primarily to an increase in state and federal grant funding.


A large portion of the budget, some $42 million, will be spent on ongoing and new capital construction projects at the port and airport.


Approximately $27 million has been budgeted for the construction of three bulkheads over 4,000 linear feet in length. These bulkheads will play a primary role in the port’s northern expansion project, which will significantly increase the dock and lease space at Fourchon.

Nearly $7 million has been budgeted for improvements at the South Lafourche Leonard Miller Jr. Airport, a facility that has been managed by the port commission for several years.


A recent runway extension to 6,500 feet at the Galliano facility allows for a significantly heavier weight load, thus making it possible for larger airplanes to take off and land at the airport. Improvements for the coming year include adding roadways, new waterlines, a parallel taxiway to compliment the newly-extended runway and new approach lighting.

Other budget highlights include $1.6 million for a communications tower and $125,000 for a security vessel that will allow harbor patrol officers easier and quicker access to remote areas of the port only accessible by water.

An additional $1.7 million has been budgeted for the dredging of a 7,000-foot section of slip “C,” also part of the port’s northern expansion project.

Also in the budget is $1 million for the port’s agreement to fund a portion of the cost of the lock project sponsored by the South Lafourche Levee District just above the Leon Theriot floodgates south of Golden Meadow. The Lafourche Parish Council has also agreed to a $1 million cost share for the lock.

Initial cost projections for the lock project didn’t require monies from either the port or levee district. However, new cost estimates on the project uncovered a significant shortfall.

The locks are scheduled to be installed in Bayou Lafourche beginning in early January 2008.