The Port of Caddo-Bossier will soon begin the bid process for a new $35 million waterline that will bring millions of gallons of water from Bossier City to The Port. The waterline will connect to The Port’s newly acquired acreage on the west side of Highway 1.
The waterline is one of the first improvements needed, so The Port will be more appealing to larger manufacturing facilities that could create hundreds of jobs.
“The Port Commission and our economic development partners The Greater Bossier Economic Development Foundation, BRF and North Louisiana Economic Partnership agree that we need to have shovel-ready greenfield sites to attract new businesses to the area,” said Walt Bigby Jr., President of the Port Commission. “The Port is working on a rail spur for those sites. We also plan on adding electric substations, natural gas lines and transload facilities, so these sites are ready for construction.”
The Bossier City Council approved the waterline earlier this month. Once in use, the waterline will bring in additional money for Bossier City. If the city sells just three million gallons of water a day to a new Port tenant, it would make more than $1.7 million. The amount of the profit would increase as the amount of water sold increases.
“As a city council, we have the responsibility to provide services to our citizens, while saving them as much money as possible,” said Bossier City Councilman David Montgomery. “This agreement will increase revenues, so we can take care of our city’s needs without asking our residents for more money.”
Bossier City upgraded its Red River Water Treatment Plant to handle 50 million gallons of water a day. Currently, the city is not using the plant at its full capacity. Even if the city’s population doubled, the plant would still provide enough water to handle The Port’s expansion.
“This is a win for Bossier City and Northwest Louisiana,” said Bossier City Mayor Tommy Chandler. “Bossier City will be able to count on additional revenue. At the same time, this waterline will give The Port a better shot at landing a company that can create a significant number of jobs, possibly bringing new residents to Bossier City.”
The underground pipeline will connect to a waterline that currently ends at Parkway High School and will extend to the Red River. A tunnel will be bored 100 feet under the river that will connect the waterline to The Port. This will add a redundant source of water, which gives users a secondary source if needed.
While crews are boring under the river, they will add a second pipeline for sewage. Crews will cap the line until there is a need to move waste to Bossier City for treatment.
“This waterline is about jobs,” said Eric England, Executive Port Director. “By having this source of water, The Port of Caddo-Bossier becomes more desirable to manufacturers who want a mega-site where construction won’t be delayed by adding needed services.”
The Port is financing the $35 million project with a low-interest loan. The Port will use its portion of water sale profits to pay back the loan.