VIOLET, LOUISIANA — The Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) is hosting a series of open houses in St. Bernard Parish to share information and invite community input about the Louisiana International Terminal (LIT) project. The proposed $1.5 billion container terminal in Violet will meet changing industry needs, serve as a major economic catalyst in St. Bernard Parish, and keep Louisiana competitive with other U.S. ports.
The upcoming Port-hosted open houses are part of Port NOLA’s ongoing efforts to engage community and business leaders in St. Bernard Parish as the project progresses. Over the last year, Port NOLA has opened a community office in Violet just blocks from the future terminal site, set up two Community Advisory Councils that meet monthly to provide feedback on aspects of the project, and built relationships with residents across the parish.
“Port NOLA is committed to working with our neighbors to design a project that brings opportunity for St. Bernard families and businesses and protects local quality of life,” said Brandy Christian, Port NOLA President and CEO. “We will continue these efforts, and we are confident that together we can bring real opportunity and economic prosperity to St. Bernard Parish and Louisiana for generations to come.”
The open houses are being held on three dates and three locations throughout the parish:
At the open houses, the public will have the opportunity to meet with Port NOLA team members who specialize in topics that are important to residents including: maritime industry trends; the proposed terminal layout; the federal permitting process and project timeline; and community commitments including traffic, quality of life, jobs and tax revenue. The content of all three events will be the same, and CDC guidelines relating to COVID will be followed.
The $1.5 billion Louisiana International Terminal will serve as a vital maritime asset and economic catalyst for the region and state of Louisiana. At the anticipated opening in 2028, the terminal is projected to support more than 600 jobs in St. Bernard Parish and 2,500 statewide. Those numbers are projected to grow to 4,300 jobs in St. Bernard and 17,000 statewide by 2050.
The international container industry is booming and container volumes in Louisiana have doubled in the last decade. However, as container ships get larger, a second container terminal located downriver from the Crescent City Connection bridge is needed to keep Louisiana competitive with other ports in the Gulf and around the country.
The 400-acre container terminal site in Violet, Louisiana, is ideal for a second container terminal with its location within the federal government’s $14 billion federal hurricane risk reduction system. The site also features naturally deep water, documented ability to navigate big ships, and proximity to existing transportation networks. The Violet site also has a history of maritime activity and has long been envisioned by parish leaders to be a maritime site of regional impact.
Residents can find accurate, up-to-date information about the project at yourworkingriver.com or by visiting us at our Louisiana International Terminal Community Connection Office in Violet at 6201A E. St. Bernard Hwy.
Port NOLA’s community engagement efforts go beyond what is required in the Federal permitting process, which has only just begun. Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) must review impacts to the natural and human environments before permitting construction on the terminal. This public permitting process will combine formal studies with community input to address traffic, safety, the environment, historic preservation, and other quality of life issues. The process began in January 2022 and is expected to last two to three years.
The initial 30-day USACE public comment period ended on February 28, 2022; however, due to national procedural changes in the permitting process, an additional 30-day comment period issued by the USACE is anticipated in the coming weeks. The USACE has confirmed that any comments received from the first public notice issued in January remain valid and do not need to be resubmitted. The series of open houses are hosted solely by Port NOLA and are not part of the federal permitting process.
Port NOLA recognizes that with population growth, traffic congestion is a significant concern for St. Bernard communities, and terminal-related traffic will add to that congestion over time—a factor that will be studied during the multi-year public permitting process. That’s why Port NOLA is committed to working with local, state, and Federal transportation partners now to design and build a new elevated roadway connecting Lower St. Bernard to the interstate system.
The new roadway is a parallel project to the Louisiana International Terminal and would relieve traffic congestion, offer an alternative route for trucks, serve as another hurricane evacuation route, and attract additional economic investments to the parish. A third traffic artery, envisioned as an elevated road outside the levee system along the 40 Arpent Canal, is a project that local officials and community members have considered for years.
Now, the Louisiana International Terminal can serve as the needed catalyst to align resources and partners to deliver. As a dedicated partner, Port NOLA is supporting early steps in coordination with the Regional Planning Commission and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. More information about traffic and transportation solutions will be available at the open houses.