La. megaport proposal takes another step forward

Supporters of a proposed megaport just east of the mouth of the Mississippi River have taken a major step forward by winning approval from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The federal agency’s OK will allow development of the Louisiana International Gulf Transfer Terminal Regional Center, which would be the country’s largest transshipment facility.

The megaport would be able to handle some of the world’s largest ships, known as Super Post-Panamax vessels. The terminal would be a transfer point for container vessels from Asia and other regions, as well as U.S. exports.

Sen. A.G. Crowe, R-Slidell, who heads the LIGTT Port Authority commission, said the project could create tens of thousands of jobs and tens of billions in revenue.

After the cargo was screened by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, goods would be delivered to the Midwest and other ports in the Gulf and around the country by specially designed container-carrying vessels. These vessels, equipped with cranes, require just a 9-foot draft and travel upriver through the Mississippi River and its tributaries.