Governor Reeves and local officials cut ribbon on new dock at Port Bienville

October 18, 2022

Gov. Tate Reeves joined U.S. Congressman Steven Palazzo, local officials, and industry representatives today at Port Bienville Industrial Park for a ribbon cutting ceremony at a new maritime dock and railroad facility.

Known as the RESTORE Dock, the $8.8 million project included a 600-foot bulkhead with a 40-foot apron which can accommodate three barges for loading and unloading. A 250-foot crushed stone laydown yard extends from the apron for operations and storage.

The project also included two Port Bienville Shortline Railroad track extensions to serve the dock with rail-to-barge intermodal operations. Access roads were also improved for truck and other vehicle traffic.

“The RESTORE Dock is another valuable addition to Hancock County’s infrastructure,” said Governor Tate Reeves. “It will help strengthen our state’s supply chains and lead to more economic opportunities for Mississippians. I’m grateful for the hard work of all our partners in bringing this important project to completion.”

“Port Bienville‘s RESTORE Dock project is another shining example of putting the funding received through the RESTORE and GOMESA legislation to good use. This project will aid in bringing further economic growth opportunities to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I commend the Hancock Port and Harbor commission for their stalwart commitment to growing the coast’s maritime business,” said Congressman Steven Palazzo.

The project was funded by a $7.4 million RESTORE Act grant in 2017. An additional $510,000 in funding came from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality’s GOMESA program. HCPHC contributed the remaining $870,000.

“Port and Harbor Commission is committed to growing economic opportunities,” CEO Bill Cotter. “Thanks to the support of federal, state and local partners, this infrastructure investment will support business operations and continued growth of our maritime business.”

The construction project was awarded to Gill’s Crane and Dozer Service, Inc., of Slidell, for $7.4 million. Notice to proceed work was issued in May 2021.

The RESTORE Dock is part of a 35-acre parcel on the industrial canal at Port Bienville. With maritime, rail and road access, the intermodal facility could support transload operations, bulk material handling, liquid transfer and warehousing for import/export businesses.

Each year, about 480,000 tons of material move across Port Bienville’s public and private docks. When it is completed, RESTORE Dock will be the fifth public dock in HCPHC’s portfolio. Two additional docks are owned by industrial tenants at the port.

“The Port and Harbor Commission continues to invest for the future of Hancock County,” Cotter said. “Our industrial assets provide the logistical solutions that allow existing tenants to expand and attract new businesses to the area.”

With its 12-foot-deep industrial canal, Port Bienville provides access to the Intracoastal Waterway via the Pearl River. Connecting Port Bienville to CSX, Port Bienville Railroad boasts 17 miles of track and processes over 8,000 loaded railcars a year. The industrial park is home to 16 companies employing nearly 700 people.