Oct 12, 2022

by: Anne Summerhays, Y'all Politics

On Wednesday, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves joined U.S. Congressman Steven Palazzo, local officials, and industry representatives at Port Bienville Industrial Park in Hancock County for a ribbon cutting ceremony at a new maritime dock and railroad facility.

The $8.8 million project, known as the RESTORE Dock, includes: 

  • A 600-foot bulkhead with a 40-foot apron which can accommodate three barges for loading and unloading. 
  • A 250-foot crushed stone laydown yard extends from the apron for operations and storage.
  • Two Port Bienville Shortline Railroad track extensions to serve the dock with rail-to-barge intermodal operations.

The project was funded by a $7.4 million RESTORE Act grant in 2017. 

An additional $510,000 in funding came from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality’s GOMESA program. HCPHC contributed the remaining $870,000.

Governor Reeves said the RESTORE Dock is another valuable addition to Hancock County’s infrastructure.

“It will help strengthen our state’s supply chains and lead to more economic opportunities for Mississippians,” Reeves added. “I’m grateful for the hard work of all our partners in bringing this important project to completion.”

Congressman Palazzo said Port Bienville‘s RESTORE Dock project is another shining example of putting the funding received through the RESTORE and GOMESA legislation to good use.

“This project will aid in bringing further economic growth opportunities to the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” Palazzo continued. “I commend the Hancock Port and Harbor commission for their stalwart commitment to growing the coast’s maritime business.”

Bill Cotter, Chief Executive Officer at the Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission, expressed his gratitude for the support of federal, state and local partners.

“This infrastructure investment will support business operations and continued growth of our maritime business,” Cotter said. 

The construction project was awarded to Gill’s Crane and Dozer Service, Inc., of Slidell, for $7.4 million. Notice to proceed work was issued in May 2021.

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