Facility Development: Fourchon
The bucket dredging phase of Slip D, the latest development in Port Fourchon's Northern Expansion area was completed June 14.
Bucket dredging is the first physical step in the creation of a new slip in a port development area. To carve out the footprint of Slip D, contractors used a barge-mounted bucket dredge and dragline to dig the outline of the 3,800 foot long and 1,000 foot wide slip, a process that lasted approximately seven months. The port likens this initial step to the first shovelfuls of earth at a groundbreaking.
The more than 451,000 cubic yards of excavated material is being used to form containment levees for the next phase of construction.
That next phase - hydraulic dredging - is set to begin by early 2017 and will be completed in two stages. The materials excavated in stage one will be used to construct more than 60 acres of wetlands, which will fulfill the port's development permit obligations and provide a natural protective buffer against hurricanes and storm surge.
"Over the years, we have taken an increasingly holistic approach to our port's development," said Chett Chiasson, executive director of the Greater Lafourche Port Commission. "Since Hurricane Katrina, we have focused on making sure that our projects and infrastructure are built to a higher standard. We have increased the base elevation of our newer slips, our roads, bulkheads, you name it. In addition to building higher and harder, we have also continued to add hundreds of additional acres of wetlands through our own development to protect our tenants' assets in a natural way."
Slip D reinforces Port Fourchon's position as "a one-stop shop" for goods and services that support gas and oil industry exploration and production in the Gulf of Mexico.
Aerial photo of Port Fourchon showing the new Slip D (outlined on the far right) during the bucket dredging phase
Photo/Greater Lafourche Port Commission