SULPHUR, La, June 9, 2009 – With the recent approval of municipal and parish funding support
by the City of Sulphur and the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, premaintenance dredging work
continues at a fevered pitch at the West Calcasieu Port.
“State and federal monies are covering the larger portion of the expenses associated with this
$2.31 million project essential to returning the West Cal Port’s west barge basin to its original
12foot depth,” said Brent Clement, president of the WCP board of commissioners. “But, we
needed the help of the City of Sulphur and Calcasieu Parish to make the project a reality, and
we are very appreciative for that level of local taxpayer ‘investment’ in our port operations.”
On May 11, the Sulphur City Council unanimously approved a request by Mayor Ron LeLeux for
a $50,000 grant for the West Calcasieu Port’s $2.31 million maintenance dredging project.Last
week, the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury approved similar funding support, passing a
resolution approving a $50,000 grant from the Economic Development Allocation of the Gaming
Fund for the WCP project. The CPPJ also approved a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement that
allows for temporary project financing in the form of a line of credit for the port, if needed.
State funding support in the form of a $1.5 million Port Priority Fund grant came from the
Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development. Additional hurricanerecovery
funding was approved by the Federal Emergency Response Administration as a result of the
destructive impact that Hurricanes Rita and Ike had on the port’s barge basin.
Mike Hooks, Inc. of Westlake, La., was the lowest among six bids received by the port during its
competitive public bid process conducted in March. Predredging work – levy construction at the
spoils reception area and the installation of concrete revetment along the west barge basin
shoreline – began in May.
“Once these steps are completed, the Mike Hooks team will position one of the company’s
dredging barges at the port and begin moving approximately 180,000 cubic yards of spoil
material to a 40acre spoils receiving site a short distance to the northwest on the port property
that has been approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” said Lynn Hohensee, WCP
director. “Once underway, the actual dredging operation will take about three to four weeks to
be completed, pending favorable weather conditions.
“Returning the basin to full operation capability is not only critical to our port’s barge services for
the towing industry along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, but it also plays a vital role to the
Southwest Louisiana maritime industry hurricane response planning,” he further explained.
“Because of the port’s strategic location on the GIWW two miles west of the Calcasieu River
Waterway, the port’s expansive west barge basin serves as a ‘safe haven’ of sorts for shallowwater
marine vessels and barges in the event that our corner of Louisiana is struck by
Hohensee also noted that the port’s largest tenant, Devall Towing, currently operates one of the
most expansive barge fleeting operations along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, and that
demand for quality barge docking space is essential if the company is to meet growing demand
for shallow-water maritime transportation in Southwest Louisiana.
Located 12 miles south of Interstate 10 and just west of Highway 27, the WCP offers 2,500 feet
of waterfront property on the GIWW.
Current tenant activity includes barge operations, maritime fueling service, dry cargo barge
cleaning, diesel repair, heavyequipment contracting and maritime supply operations.
Mike Devall, Jr. (foreground) coordinates with his father, Mike Devall (onboard the barge) as
Devall Towing crews and fleet vessels reposition a barge along the West Calcasieu Port’s west
barge basin. Barge relocation is needed to facilitate the maintenance dredging project for the
port’s barge basin. Mike Hooks, Inc. of Westlake has the dredging contract.
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