VINTON, La., October 23, 2018 — Port of Vinton officials announced this week that dredging operations near the mouth of the Vinton Navigation Channel has been completed.

Magnolia Dredging of Mandeville, La., was the contractor on the $1.098 million maintenance dredging project that removed more than 21,400 cubic yards of spoils over a 24-week period. The southernmost portion of the channel where it enters into the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway was returned to an elevation of minus-10.5 feet, and the spoils were relocated onto nearby private open-water areas to create new marshlands in an environmentally beneficial use manner.

“It has been more than seven years since any maintenance dredge work has been performed on the channel, and in that time, a naturally occurring ‘humping’ of sediment near the mouth of the channel has gradually represented a growing navigation issue on the waterway for shallow water maritime vessels and barges,” said Jerry Merchant, president of the Port of Vinton board of commissioners.

“During the deepening of approximately 2,000 linear feet of the channel, the port also took the opportunity to modify the two corners of land bordering the channel where it enters into the GIWW,” he added.  “This is especially important for tugboat operators to make their navigation into the channel from the GIWW an easier task.”

The initial phase of the project focused on preparing the land area that was selected to receive the dredge spoils,” Merchant explained. “We are especially appreciative for the cooperation of the Stream Land Company for partnering with the port in making their property available to receive the dredge spoils.”

Merchant said that the Port of Vinton and its tenants offer a variety of specialized services that accommodate the expansion of our Southwest Louisiana regional economic development.

“High on that list is the 11-year presence of Dunham/Price on 75 acres of port property adjacent to the channel where it has the nation’s largest manufacturing site for steel-reinforced 40-foot concrete pilings as well as other pre-cast concrete materials,” he explained. “We are also home to a division of Performance Blasting & Coating that offers industrial painting and sandblasting services.”

Merchant was very complimentary of the port’s board of commissioners that led the way in applying for Calcasieu Parish funding support through a cooperative endeavor agreement with Gravity Drainage District No. 2.

“Our expansion project would not have been possible without a parish $200,000 Economic Development Riverboat Gaming Fund grant and a parish $500,000 Road and Drainage Trust Fund grant awarded specifically through the drainage district for the dredging project,” he said. “Virtually all of the runoff in the area’s water shed is directed toward the channel as it ends up draining into the GIWW.”

Located just minutes off Interstate 10 south of Vinton, the Port of Vinton has approximately 600 acres of industrial-zoned property for lease.