Port of Greater Baton Rouge receives grant to increase barge activity on Mississippi River

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Port of Greater Baton Rouge is receiving a nearly $2 million federal grant to increase barge activity on the Mississippi River.

The money will be used to purchase specialized container loading equipment for the ports in both Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The increased waterway traffic will help provide an alternative to moving equipment on area roads and railways.

"It just increases the efficiency of how quickly you can move these boxes," said Jay Hardman, executive director of the Port of Baton Rouge. "The rate determining step we have now is with some old equipment. It's really not suited for this type of use, so until the volumes grow and the economy to scale kick in, these pieces of equipment are going to be very critical to growing this business."

It's estimated the state of Louisiana could save nearly $120 per round trip between New Orleans and Baton Rouge by using barges rather than trucks.

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