Port of Iberia Inaugurates New Public Dock Facility
—Literature Available The Port of Iberia in Louisiana has just opened a new public dock facility, financed by appropriations from the state legislature. The new facility has been planned as a drawing card to aid in the port's efforts to diversify its resident industries and occasional users of the dock and warehouse facilities.
"We're only six miles from the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, probably the most important inland waterway in the nation in terms of freight tonnage transported," port director John Oubre notes, "and storage and docking space so close could be important to any number of industrial plants and suppliers." In addition, Sterling Sugars, Inc. of Franklin, La., has some 4,000 acres of adjacent land available for rapid development into new industrial waterfront plant sites.
Phase I of the Port of Iberia public dock project, priced at $380,888 and virtually completed, includes 200 feet of steel bulkheading along the dock area's No. 4 slip, as well as a concrete loadout slab, an operations building, parking areas, roads, and security fencing.
The facility's second phase, to cost $518,586, includes additional steel bulkheading on the Commercial Canal frontage, plus security lighting, restrooms, a sewage plant and water well, and water and power lines.
Phase II of the project, now in its final weeks, covers construction of a 15,000-square-foot steel building, plus waterfront bulkheading, a concrete loading dock, and other work, at a cost of $650,587. The 100 by 150 foot warehouse building, constructed on a concrete slab, provides for later additions of offices, overhead cranes, and refrigerated space.
According to Mr. Oubre, inquiries as to local freight handling facilities and rates for warehouse services have already been received from shipping companies, freight forwarders, and other marine transportation interests. One of them, Lykes Bros. Steamship Company of New Orleans, has inquired relative to the delivery of large steel boilers from West Germany, weighing from 95 to 128 tons, destined for the new Agrifuels Refining Company's ethanol plant under construction near New Iberia.
The port director noted that in an effort to make the facility more useful to present and prospective tenants and others using the Port of Iberia, an application has been filed with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge a 16-foot-deep navigation channel directly across Vermilion Bay to the Gulf of Mexico.
To support this application in the face of possible opposition from wildlife, coastal protection, and other groups, the Port of Iberia commissioners recently signed a contract with Louisiana State University's Ports and Waterways Institute for a five-month environmental assessment study of the trans-Vermilion channel project.
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