HDR Lands Port NOLA LIT Contract

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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A draft of the conceptual rendering of the Louisiana International Terminal as of August 6, 2021. This rendering depicts a conceptual design for what the terminal may look like in an estimated 25 years. This is the terminal only and does not include the adjacent infrastructure solutions that will be identified and built. Photo: Port NOLA

The Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) has awarded a $4 million, three-year Program Management and Control Services contract to HDR Engineering, Inc. as part of the multi-year due diligence and permitting process for the new Louisiana International Terminal (LIT) container facility in St. Bernard Parish.

HDR will serve as the technical lead for services that include, in part: terminal operation and related transportation development, risk management, procurement support, budget and schedule management, permitting and stakeholder coordination, and environmental compliance. 

“With more than 220 offices around the world, including Baton Rouge, Metairie, and Lafayette in Louisiana, HDR brings appropriate resources to the project,” Port NOLA said. “HDR team members have worked together on large port and other infrastructure projects in the past, including, most recently, the Hugh Leatherman container terminal in Charleston, South Carolina.”

Sub-consultants for the contract include Evans-Graves Engineers, Inc., based in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, and The Advocacy Partners, LLC, based in New Orleans. The up-to $4 million program management contract has a term of up to three years.

The LIT facility is planned to occupy approximately 350 acres with a 3,500-linear-foot wharf within more than 1,000 acres of developable greenfield property. The site, located within the federal government’s $14 billion flood protection system, features naturally deep-draft riverfront acreage, a 50-foot Mississippi River Channel, documented ability to navigate ships with a capacity up to 23,000 TEUs, ability to grow Port NOLA’s container-on-barge service, access to six Class I railroads through the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad and access to the interstate highway system. 

“Transportation infrastructure projects that accommodate industry and St. Bernard Parish needs beyond the terminal footprint would be coordinated for maximum positive impact, including the vision of a dedicated truck route,” Port NOLA said. “Acreage beyond the terminal site will enhance the project’s economic impact to St. Bernard Parish with space to accommodate distribution centers, value-added and logistics-related businesses, and buffer operations from the community and provide for public benefit spaces.”

Progress on the  project to date includes land acquisition in December 2020, initiation of the permitting process in June 2021, an award to AECOM for preliminary design and permitting support in July 2021, and ongoing engagement with industry and community stakeholders. Next steps will include consideration and evaluation of a potential terminal operator and financial partners.

“We are working to deliver a state-of-the-art container terminal that meets the evolving needs of the shipping industry and serves as an economic catalyst for the state and region,” said Brandy D. Christian, President and CEO of the Port of New Orleans and President of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad. “A project of this magnitude requires experienced program management for successful coordination of studies and design needed for a quality project. HDR Engineering’s qualifications include broad expertise, a team that has worked together on similar large container port projects, and the deep resources of a global firm with local connections.”

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