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Port of New Orleans Hires WSP to Deliver St. Bernard Transportation Corridor

NEW ORLEANS, LA — The Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) Board of Commissioners passed two resolutions to expedite the St. Bernard Transportation Corridor, a roadway for St. Bernard Parish that will connect the new $1.8 billion Louisiana International Terminal (LIT) to the interstate system and deliver a road that has been sought after by St. Bernard Parish leaders and residents for years.

The board unanimously passed a resolution reaffirming its commitment to develop the corridor project, which would consist of an elevated roadway connecting the future LIT in Violet with Interstate 510 to create a new major artery in and out of St. Bernard Parish.

Additionally, the board approved a resolution authorizing Port NOLA’s President and CEO, Brandy Christian, to enter into a contract with global consulting firm WSP USA, Inc. for consulting services to develop a public-private partnership strategy for the St. Bernard Transportation Corridor. As part of this work, WSP will analyze potential financing structures, delivery methods, project governance, and stakeholder engagement.

“The Port of New Orleans continues to prioritize development of the St. Bernard Transportation Corridor as a parallel project with construction of the Louisiana International Terminal,” said Brandy Christian, Port NOLA President & CEO. “We are pleased that this new terminal is serving as a catalyst project for a critical roadway that will support future growth in St. Bernard Parish.”

Louisiana lawmakers have already provided nearly $30 million toward early development costs for the LIT project, which is currently in the federal permitting and design process. The State of Louisiana also committed $50 million for the design of the St. Bernard Transportation Corridor; and, in June 2023, the Regional Planning Commission awarded a contract to GIS Engineering, LLC to study the corridor and other roadway improvements that will support LIT in Violet.

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“WSP is excited to have the opportunity to work with the Port of New Orleans and its partners on this strategic effort to bring this long-awaited project to fruition. We understand the critical need for this link in the transportation network to serve the public and to spur economic development,” said Max Nassar, Senior Vice President, WSP USA, Inc. “Our experience in successfully delivering critical projects internationally, through all traditional and alternative delivery methods, will serve the port, industry, and partner communities well.”

In December 2023, Port NOLA was awarded $73.77 million from the federal government, in addition to significant funding commitments from both private industry partners and Port NOLA. This project has also garnered support from more than a dozen ports in six states and major trade and agriculture associations throughout the heartland of America.

LIT will be built through a historic public-private partnership between Port NOLA and two private terminal operators. New Jersey-based Ports America, one of North America’s largest marine terminal operators, and Geneva, Switzerland-based Mediterranean Shipping Company, through its terminal development and investment arm Terminal Investment Limited, have committed $800 million toward the project.

LIT will be able to serve vessels of all sizes, dramatically increasing Louisiana’s import and export capacity. It is also the biggest public economic development project in the state of Louisiana. By 2050, it is expected to generate 32,000 new jobs nationwide, 18,000 in Louisiana, and 4,300 in St. Bernard Parish, as well as more than $1 billion in total new state and local tax revenue.

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