Intermodal Shallow Barge Dock Opens in Mississippi

Opening of RESTORE dock at Port Bienville in Mississippi
Gov. Tate Reeves (center) and other dignitaries celebrate the opening of RESTORE Dock at Port Bienville. (Gov. Tate Reeves via Twitter)

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Mississippi officials celebrated a new maritime dock and railroad facility with improved truck access roads at Port Bienville on the Gulf of Mexico’s Intracoastal Waterway.

The funds stemmed from the federal Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies (RESTORE) of the Gulf Coast States Act.

Gov. Tate Reeves, U.S. Congressman Steven Palazzo and other officials gathered Oct. 18 in Hancock County for a ribbon-cutting at RESTORE Dock in the shallow draft barge port located in an industrial park.

Some 480,000 tons of goods are transported yearly through Port Bienville’s public and private docks. Connecting Port Bienville to CSX, Port Bienville Railroad processes over 8,000 loaded railcars yearly over its 17 miles of track.

Port Bienville is on the northern Gulf of Mexico, 3 miles upstream from a bayou confluence with the East Pearl River. It has access to U.S. Route 90 and is about 12 miles from Interstate 10 and a rail link to CSX at Ansley, Miss.

The dock is part of a 35-acre parcel on a 12-foot-deep industrial canal at Port Bienville. The intermodal facility can support transload operations, bulk material handling, liquid transfer and warehousing for imports and exports.

Aerial view of Port Bienville in Mississippi

Port Bienville (Mississippi Department of Transportation)

Calling the dock a valuable addition to the county’s, Reeves said it will strengthen Mississippi’s supply chain and lead to more economic opportunities in the state.

“This project will aid in bringing further economic growth opportunities to the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” Palazzo noted.

A $7.4 million grant from the RESTORE of the Gulf Coast States Act funded most of the $8.7 million project. The remainder was paid for by the Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission ($870,000) and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality ($510,000).


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Funding was used to improve access roads for trucks and build two Port Bienville Shortline Railroad track extensions to serve the dock with rail-to-barge intermodal operations.

The project featured a 600-foot bulkhead with a 40-foot apron to accommodate loading/unloading at three barges. A 250-foot crushed stone laydown yard extends from the apron for operations and storage.

“Thanks to the support of federal, state and local partners, this infrastructure investment will support business operations and continued growth of our maritime business,” said Bill Cotter, port and harbor commission CEO.

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