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Ribbon cutting celebrates completion of rail-yard

HAHNVILLE — On May 4, 2021, a little more than a year from the start of construction, representatives from the Port of South Louisiana and Dow Chemical held a ribbon cutting and official operations kick-off of the SoLaPort Railyard.

The ceremony, which marked the Port of South Louisiana’s first public gathering since the start of the pandemic, celebrated the completion of a six-track rail yard in St. Charles Parish. The SoLaPort rail yard is a port-owned property on the West Bank of the Mississippi River that is configured to accommodate between 250 and 350 rail cars exclusively for Dow Chemical. It is accessible via a rail spur designed and installed by Dow on the south side of the its facility. The rail yard will be used for rail car maintenance and storage.

The project, which began construction in January 2020, was funded in part by $8.775 million from Louisiana’s Capital Outlay program. Designed by AECOM, the yard was laid out to comply with the standards of Union Pacific Railroad and Dow. Constructed by Barriere Construction, the project required installation of a 2,000 square yard two-track railcar storage and maintenance pad and related infrastructure, including an access road from LA Highway 18, over 27,000 feet of track connecting to the rail spur, switches to facilitate “cherry-picking” cars, lighting and security fencing along the perimeter of the leased property.