VINTON, La, Feb. 14, 2018 – The Port of Vinton Board of Commissioners voted this week to award the contract for the dredging of the mouth of the Vinton Navigation Channel to Magnolia Dredge & Dock, LLC of Mandeville, La. 

The successful base bid of $832,672 was the lowest among three bids received by the port during its competitive public bid process.

“The Port of Vinton Board of Commissioners was impressed with the quality of the contractors that were interested in the port’s project,” said Jerry Merchant, board president for the Port of Vinton. “The port’s engineering team spent a considerable amount of time reviewing all of the data and information included in the packets prior to making its recommendation to the board.”

Lynn Hohensee, POV director, noted that the Port of Vinton Port will work closely with local, state and federal officials to make sure that all dredging operations are in line with regulatory permits for the project and that an aggressive time schedule is followed for the dredging work.

“The improvements to the channel will benefit current tenant operations and enhance the port’s ability to recruit new tenants,” he said. “Demand for shallow-water access to facilities that support barge transportation in Southwest Louisiana has grown over the last several years, and all regional economic indicators point to a continuing growth in that demand.

“For that reason,” our port board of commissioners led the way in securing the necessary funding support for the dredging,” he continued.  “When completed, the dredging project will deepen the channel from the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway northward approximately 1,945 linear feet.”

Hohensee noted also that the waterway improvements will also include widening the approach vessels will use as they navigate off the GIWW into the Vinton channel and back out into the GIWW.

WCP Engineer Lee Lancon with Westlake-based Lancon Engineering, Inc. has estimated that more than 20,000 cubic yards of spoil will be dredged to accommodate dredging of the mouth of the navigation channel.  The dredging project will deepen the mouth of the channel from an existing depth as shallow as 6.5 feet to a depth of 10.5 feet. 

The dredged spoils will be used for environmental beneficial use.

“The spoils will be piped to the nearby privately owned property where landowners will use the spoils material to enhance marshland conditions,” Hohensee said.

Significant funding support comes from a $200,000 economic development grant awarded to the port by the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury.  Funding support ($500,000) also was received from the Gravity Drainage District No. 2 in Ward 7 (western Calcasieu Parish), since the channel plays an integral role in moving runoff water out of a wide watershed in the western portion of the parish.  

The Vinton Harbor & Terminal District (Port of Vinton) was created in 1956 when the Louisiana Legislature passed the Navigation and Shipping Act 466 for the purpose of stimulating economic growth in western Calcasieu Parish. Since then, the port has expanded and today encompasses more than 800 acres of land geared to support private investment and development along the northern reach of the Vinton Navigation Channel.