Poland Street Wharf a welcome addition to Port of New Orleans
Here at the Department of Transportation, a critical part of our mission is to improve our transportation system and help grow our national economy. For the Maritime Administration (MARAD), that means using all of the resources we have available to develop our nation’s ports.
It might surprise you to know these resources include assets other than grant funding, but a couple of weeks ago, I was in New Orleans to participate in the official land transfer of the Poland Street Wharf to the Port of New Orleans.
The Maritime Administration has a long-standing relationship with the city of New Orleans. With our Ready Reserve Force vessels and MARAD’s Division of Gulf Operations based at the Poland Street Wharf facilities, we’ve been able to take advantage of the important marine industrial base in the area. In addition, we were well positioned to come to the city’s aid following Hurricane Katrina.
Now, through the transfer of this property, we are continuing to do what we can to ensure that the city of New Orleans is able to begin construction of a new cruise ship terminal. The new terminal will foster good-paying jobs and strengthen the economy of the Gulf region—and the nation—long into the future.
Upgraded marine infrastructure plays a critical role not only for passenger services, but also in the movement of goods to consumers at home and helping American businesses market their products abroad. Since 2009, exports moving through the New Orleans region have increased 140 percent, which includes a 20 percent jump in the last year alone. That’s why we awarded the Port a $16.7 million DOT TIGER grant to help finance modernizing and expanding the port’s rail terminal.
It’s clear that we are invested in New Orleans, and providing access to the Poland Wharf facility is just further proof that this Administration will continue to support the infrastructure needed to grow our economy and ensure our ability to compete in the global marketplace.
Chip Jaenichen is Acting Administrator of the Maritime Administration.