NEW IBERIA, La. (KLFY) — The Port of Iberia broke ground on the Acadiana to the Gulf of Mexico access channel Thursday.
It’s a project state legislators say they’ve been working towards for 20 years.
“This project has been in the works for many decades, and it’s a project that finally today we can see some movement from funding from the state level. We are excited about it,” Louisiana Sen. Fred Mills said.
Mills is one of several senators who worked to get $34 million dollars from the state for the project.
It will deepen the channel from the Port of Iberia to Gulf of Mexico to 16 feet.
“This means for the area that the Port of Iberia can open up more economic opportunities. We can dredge the port deeper, and it’s a great project not only for Iberia Parish but for all of Acadiana,” Mills added.
Port of Iberia Executive Director Craig Romero says with a deeper port, bigger boats and bigger structures can come to the port.
Romero says deepening the channel will also expand the capabilities of the businesses at the port that do fabrication and repair work to offshore facilities and boats.
“It’s going to open up jobs for the area. It’s going to open up more businesses for the area, and it’s going to give our port an opportunity to continue to strive for years and years to come,” Mills told News 10.
The Port of Iberia started the project Thursday morning, beginning with the first step of lowering the boardwalk pipeline.
“It’s an exciting time, and it’s like all of the hard work and efforts and planning, now we’re able to see it move forward,” he said.
This project will take over a year to complete, but once it’s done, state legislators say it will open up Acadiana to a whole new realm of opportunities.