Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Port Snort

Despite the financial problems of the City of New Orleans, the Port of New Orleans is moving forward.

The Port of New Orleans will open bids Thursday for a $5-million renovation to the 4.8-acre Nashville Avenue Marshaling Yard.

Previous bids were scuttled due to Hurricane Katrina. The original bid had been awarded to Southern Industrial Contractors based in Rayville for $2.6 million, according to Port of New Orleans spokesman Matt Gresham.

At that time, the port received bids ranging from $2.6 million to $3.3 million.

"We are now budgeting for a worst-case scenario due to post-Katrina labor shortages and construction costs," he said.

Gresham said bids will be awarded at the next port Board of Commissioners meeting at 10:30 a.m. April 27 at the Port Administration Building. Once awarded, a 210-day or seven-month construction period is anticipated. Gresham is hopeful that it could begin in May and be finished in December.

Work will consist primarily of reinforcing the marshaling yard to better handle massive equipment being used at the adjacent Napoleon Avenue container complex.

The $101-million Napolean Avenue Container Terminal complex, operated by P&O Ports on the Mississippi River, has a capacity of 366,000 20-foot equivalent container units.

So, in contrast to the pundits who've written about New Orleans demise, as long as there is a Port of New Orleans, there will be a New Orleans.

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