“USACE is excited for the opportunity to partner with LaDOTD as well as the Port of Iberia to advance this critical navigation effort to deepen the channel as the Port provides both a regional and national value to the nation,” said Colonel Cullen Jones, New Orleans District Commander. “It is our hope that these efforts will help derive a more economical project that will compete well to receive federal dollars to advance this critical effort.”
The Port of Iberia is a 57.5-mile waterway that provides access to the Gulf of Mexico and includes the Commercial Canal, the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, and Freshwater Bayou. The current plan consists of widening and deepening the waterway from the existing depth of 12 feet to a depth of 16 feet with a bottom width of 150 feet. The initial federal investment, along with the non-federal investment, will be used to fund the completion of a full validation report.
“The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development celebrates the restart of this vital economic development project," said Chris Collins, LaDOTD’s Director of Waterways for the Office of Multimodal Commerce. "The partnership between DOTD, the Port of Iberia, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District is a reminder of what we can accomplish together.”
The Port of Iberia, Louisiana project was originally authorized for construction in Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) 2006, then reauthorized in WRDA 2014. The validation report will be conducted over the next 12-14 months to confirm the total project cost and benefits of the project.