WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and U.S. Representatives Cedric Richmond (D-LA) and Steve Scalise (R-LA) today announced that the Department of Transportation has awarded about $7.3 million to the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad Corporation (NOPB).
The Port of New Orleans will use the funds to upgrade switches and expand three regional rail yards to provide capacity for storage and sorting an additional 500 rail cars. The enhancements will move freight through the port faster and improve efficiency by 30 percent.
“Freight from across Louisiana and our country move through the Port of New Orleans. This project will improve its ability to handle more traffic, leading to economic benefits for the workers and the state,” said Dr. Cassidy.
“The New Orleans Public Belt Railroad and the Port of New Orleans are economic engines for the region and Louisiana’s economy,” said Richmond. “Federal investment into the New Orleans Gateway always makes good sense for our economy and the thousands of people employed in international and domestic trade. I’m proud I was able to help secure necessary funding for the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program (CRISI) to keep Louisiana’s economy thriving.”
“It’s welcome news that the Port of New Orleans will receive over $7 million to modernize and expand their railyard capabilities. This grant will help boost the economy of Southeast Louisiana and increase our ability to transport more commerce through the Port of New Orleans, which has a huge impact on our national economy, global competitiveness, and American job creation,” said Scalise. “I applaud President Trump and Secretary Chao for their support and leadership on Louisiana infrastructure projects.”
“Today is a great day for the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad. This grant provides us with an outstanding opportunity to execute our five-year capital plan; increasing the safety and capabilities of our railroad. The impact this will have will not only positively affect the tenants of the Port of New Orleans, but also the communities that we travel through,” said Mike Stoltzman, general manager of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad.