Greater Ouachita Parish Port
Located at river milepost 164 on the west Ouachita River bank, the Greater Ouachita Parish Port is under the governance of Greater Ouachita Parish Port Commission. The entity was set up back in 1998, and it is governed by six commissioners elected for a six-year term.
Port Overview and Facilities
This harbor is pretty busy and active. According to an Energy Louisiana report, the port’s overall annual tonnage of cargo is 866,400 tons. Of these, 254,000 tons are aggregates, and 599,400 tons are oil and fuel.
The port has one main channel that is nine feet deep and 150 feet wide. The port is an intermodal one. It comes with rail and water access to facilitate cargo transportation.
One of the harbor’s main functions is to connect Ouachita manufacturers with the rest of the US and the world. The cargo port usually processes an array of common cargo types like containers, cotton, furniture, baby supplies, fuel, and paper.
Challenges and Options for Improvement
In 2016, local authorities pinpointed several problem areas and the manner in which improvement could be sought.
For a start, the port needs to have its infrastructure properly maintained – an area that has become quite problematic due to the reduction of cargo transportation volume on the river over the past few years. According to Delta Regional Authority reps, a bigger budget will be required for the purpose. A year-round commercial navigation system for the river will also be needed to enhance cargo transportation.
Other issues that should be addressed include the reduced operation of some locks and dams, dredging and maintenance of Ouachita River’s navigation channels and further rail transportation expansion.
The Safety of Ouachita River Sailing
Ouachita River with its impressive 605-mile length runs through Arkansas and Louisiana. From 1819 to 1910, Ouachita River was a primary commerce and transportation route. The first steamboat’s arrival in the area has opened up new opportunities for enhanced transportation.
The 25th longest river in the US, Ouachita has had a navigable waterway since 1902. The foundations were established through the execution of Ouachita-Black Rivers Navigation Project.
The project was completed in 1924, and after the completion, it included six locks and dams, as well as a total navigable length of 351 miles.
Today, tugboats have replaced steamboats, and the barge traffic is moderate. Unfortunately, commercial vessel operators have run into some problems lately. Commercial barge traffic has been going down, which has contributed to a reduction in the funds for the maintenance of the river in a good navigable condition.
Regardless of the conditions, sailing and the transportation of materials by water rank among the most dangerous employment options. In 2008, 5,488 people died in a work-related accident. Of these people, 5,071 were men employed in industries like aviation transportation, sailing, driving and crane operation.
Are you a sailor or a port worker who has sustained injuries or who’s concerned about being an employee at this port? You may benefit from a consultation with an attorney. Please do not hesitate to fill out our form and find out more about the options you have available.