U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced today (December 15, 2011) that 46 transportation projects in 33 states and Puerto Rico will receive a total of $511 million from the third round of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s popular TIGER program, including $16,738,246 for the Port of New Orleans that “will rebuild a specialized rail yard at the Louisiana Avenue terminal along the Mississippi River. The overall project has two components: construction of a new 12-acre freight rail intermodal terminal; and resurfacing and fortifying a 4-acre storage yard that is used for ultra-heavy project cargoes.The project’s objective is to reduce congestion, facilitate the movement of marine and rail cargo, stimulate international commerce, and maintain an essential port asset in a state of good repair.”
Also announced was $9,814,700. The project will deploy Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) improvements on and around four highway bridges that span the Mississippi River in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana. The bridges include the Helena Bridge (US-49, MS & AR); the Greenville Bridge (US-82, MS & AR); the Vicksburg Bridge (I-20, MS & LA); and the Natchez-Vidalia Bridge (US-84, MS & LA). The improvements include dynamic messaging signs, vehicle detection devices, closed-circuit television, highway advisory radio, and other fiber optic connections that will coordinate communication across the bridges. The project will also include real-time river monitoring systems that will provide information for barges traveling beneath the bridges.