Work begins on clearing Port Fourchon shipping channel

(Photography courtesy Port Fourchon)

At Port Fourchon, work is underway to clear a shipping channel after sediments pushed into the waterway by hurricanes made the water too shallow for some vessels to pass safely.

The work on Belle Pass in Lafourche Parish began in late November after the Greater Lafourche Port Commission gave $2.1 million to get the project completed by Jan. 6, The Courier quoted the port’s executive director, Chett Chiasson, as saying.

Officials are expecting the west side of the waterway, which ships use to travel from the port to the Gulf of Mexico oilfield, to be cleared within the next two weeks.

The Army Corps of Engineers, which is responsible for keeping the Belle Pass clear, had less than $1 million for the $3 million project, according to Chiasson, making it necessary for the commission to step in.

The port is a service hub for the Gulf’s oil rigs and platforms. It was most affected by Hurricanes Cristobal and Zeta, and shut down operations for nearly 20 days during this year’s hurricane season.