West Calcasieu Port
West Calcasieu Port is located in southwest Louisiana outside of Sulphur. It is just two miles from the Calcasieu River Ship Channel and is 20 miles from the Gulf of Mexico and is about equidistant between New Orleans and Houston. It is a shallow water port that provides travel between Texas and Florida, among other places. The area has a strong industrial presence, and there are expansion opportunities as well.
A large project to upgrade the bulkhead infrastructure was possible with more than $1 million in grant monies from the state. The bulkhead was 40 years old and in need of an upgrade to ensure the economic development of the entire local area. It is anticipated that the operations will see an increase over the next five years as the regional demand for barge fleeting space increases. They also recently purchased an additional 11.5 acres of adjacent land.
The port is home to several companies. Devall Enterprises provides towing, barge services, diesel repair and fleeting and has been operating here for more than half a century. Orion Marine Group, Inc. is a civil marine contractor that offers turnkey marine construction services throughout the coastal area as well as in the Atlantic Seaboard and the Caribbean Basin. The company transports vessels, dredges, builds bridges, constructs pipelines and performs surveys, diving, towing and underwater inspection and repair. Their main headquarters are in Houston. Tubal-Cain Marine Services operates dry dock and marine building operations including conversions and major repair work.
The port is located at mile marker 244 of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW). It has just less than 200 acres of usable land that included 2500 feet of waterfront access. There are availability of bulk potable water, gas and electric services, a loading ramp and complete loading and unloading barge facilities. Situated about 12 miles from I-10 on Louisiana Highway 27, it is 230 miles west of New Orleans and 180 east of Houston. Those traveling by waterway will have access via GIWW.
The GIWW is part of the Intracoastal Waterway that runs along the Gulf Coast. It provides just more than 1,000 navigable miles from Florida to Texas. The channel is designed primarily for barge traffic with a depth of 12 feet. It was completed in 1949. The GIWW connects with many other waterways including the Mississippi River to allow inland access. It has access to the Port of South Louisiana, the largest tonnage port in the country with access to the Gulf of Mexico.
Working aboard barges, on docks, and in shipyards is often dangerous. Companies must provide safe working conditions to prevent accidents and injuries. If an accident does occur, the injured worker may be protected by the Jones Act, legislation that allows injured maritime workers to take action against negligent employers.
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