Expanding Port of New Orleans operations

September 21, 2021

The Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) operates many facilities in the New Orleans, Louisiana, metropolitan area. It is expanding its Nashville Avenue Wharf—which sits along the Mississippi River south of Tchoupitoulas Street in Uptown New Orleans—into a full-fledged container terminal.

Volkert is serving as Port NOLA’s construction manager and is providing construction engineering and inspection services for the $47-million project.

The project involves the demolition of an existing warehouse in order to convert the wharf to an area for managing shipping container operations. The port currently utilizes ship-to-shore (STS) gantry cranes for loading and unloading shipping containers from vessels berthed at the facility. 

These cranes operate on either 50-foot-gauge or 100-foot-gauge rails. Currently, Nashville Wharf houses three cranes that operate on a 50-foot gauge and two cranes that require a 100-foot gauge. Four additional 100-foot-gauge STS cranes are being purchased with an expected delivery date in late 2021.

The additional cranes will be able to serve larger container ships from across the world.

The main focus of this improvement project is to extend the existing 100-foot rail to service the area of the wharf being converted to container operations. The extension requires numerous construction activities, including driving an additional 18” pre-cast concrete piling, reconstructing the 20-inch-thick concrete deck to support the extended crane rail, and installing the crane rail itself.

Volkert’s Andrew Horstman, Robert Echols, and Austin Conrad at the Port NOLA project

Other work to improve the facility involves replacing the fender system and mooring bollards along the face of the wharf, upgrading electrical equipment, and improving site utilities.

Construction began in early 2020 and is expected to be completed in Spring 2022.

Volkert Communications