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First floor of new building is '99 percent' done
Above, a flag pole gets installed this morning at the Port of Morgan City’s
Government Emergency and Operations Center on La. 182 in Morgan City.

 Port of Morgan City Executive Director Raymond “Mac” Wade
walks Thursday on the first floor of the port’s new center. The
cubicles shown are set up for U.S. Coast Guard personnel.

In one year, the Port of Morgan City’s $11 million Emergency Operations Center has gone from the planning stages to nearly finishing construction on a one-of-a kind facility for south Louisiana. The two-story, 35,000-square-foot building is expected to house U.S. Coast Guard operations on a daily basis and will serve as an emergency command center during events, such as hurricanes. Officials broke ground for construction of the center Dec. 2, 2014. The Category 5 hurricane resistant center is located on La. 182 in Morgan City, adjacent to the Morgan City Municipal Auditorium. Work is 99 percent complete on the first floor, while the second floor is 90 to 95 percent done, port officials said. Elevators have been installed in the building. Port of Morgan City Executive Director Raymond “Mac” Wade said in June that once the center opens, there will be no facility in Louisiana that can rival it in terms of is sturdiness. Wade called it a “state-of-the-art” facility. The center is being paid for by $7.1 million in state money and $3.9 million in Port of Morgan City funds. State officials track all money spent on the center extraordinarily closely, architect Carl Blum said. “Anybody who tells you the state is foolishly spending money has never dealt with the state,” Blum said. “They watch every dime (spent).”

The building is “extremely energy efficient,” Blum said. Gaining entry into the building past the front lobby will require card access, Wade said. Cubicles are set up in the area Coast Guard personnel are expected to occupy, and furniture should come in next week, Wade said. Wade expects Coast Guard personnel to occupy about 85 percent of the downstairs portion, he said. All furniture should be in place at the center by Christmas Eve, Wade said. When not being used as an emergency command center, emergency training classes can be held in the center. On Thursday, workers were finishing tile work at the front of the building and working to build a ramp at the back of the facility. The center’s second story has a room dedicated to be the emergency command headquarters with seating space and multiple TV monitors for presentations. The Port of Morgan City and St. Mary Levee District will both have office space on the second floor, Wade said. Officials haven’t set a projected date or when the center may open, Wade said. As part of an agreement with the city of Morgan City to use city property on which to build a portion of the center, port officials agreed to fund the paving of extra parking spaces on the Morgan City Municipal Auditorium grounds. Port officials bid a contract Thursday for extra parking, Wade said. Up to 120 additional spaces at the auditorium may be paved, Blum said.

GOECArchitect Carl Blum, left, speaks to Morgan City Harbor and Terminal District commissioners Joseph Cain, Scott Melancon and Gary Duhon during a tour of the Port of Morgan City’s Government Emergency and Operations Center Monday. The center is scheduled to be substantially complete by mid-October.
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Some minor issues have pushed back the projected completion date of the Port of Morgan City’s $11 million Government Emergency and Operations Center by about two weeks to mid-October. Despite delays, work is nearly two-thirds finished on the center, which will house
governmental tenants on a daily basis and serve as a command center during emergencies. It is located on La. 182 adjacent to the Morgan City Municipal Auditorium. A groundbreaking to begin construction of the center was held in December 2014. The 35,000-square-foot, Category 5 hurricane-resistant center is being paid for by $7.1 million in state capital outlay money and $3.9 million in Port of Morgan City funds. The twostory building will house port officials and U.S. Coast Guard personnel on the first floor with an emergency command center, for events such as hurricanes, located on the second floor. At Monday’s Morgan City Harbor and Terminal District commission meeting, Project Manager Walt Adams said, though progress on the center continues to go well, the estimated substantial completion date has slipped by about two weeks. Adams expects port officials to be able to get the substantial completion certificate by mid-October. Construction on the building is about 60 percent complete, Adams said.  The later finish date is mainly due to delays in removing some overhead power and telephone lines at the rear of the building, Adams said. Adams believes the contractor, M.D. Descant of Bunkie, has worked about as hard as it can work, he said. By the end of October, Adams said the building will definitely be ready to accommodate the special systems equipment. In an attempt to recover as much contract time as possible, the contractor deployed temporary air conditioning in the building to reduce the humidity inside, Adams said. The electrical contractor expects to have permanent power to the building within about two weeks, Adams said. Port Director Raymond “Mac” Wade said almost every room in the building will be sound proof, and every wall will consist of double-layered sheetrock. “It’s solid from the outside to the inside. There’s nothing like it anywhere in this part of the country,” Wade said. Also during Monday’s meeting, port officials discussed the major problems they are having with inadequate depth for vessels to travel through in the Atchafalaya River Bar Channel. Port leaders are planning to build their own sidecaster dredge designed specifically to keep the Bar Channel dredged to its authorized 20-foot depth 365 days a year, Wade said. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers doesn’t have the funds to dredge the channel but once a year, he said. A sidecaster dredge involves using a vessel to agitate the sediment that builds up in the channel and cast it to the side. “It’s the only way we’re ever going to be able to get out of this situation,” Wade said. As of Jan. 2, the corps used $13.6 million to dredge the Bar Channel to a 20-foot depth. Since that time, five to six feet of sediment has built up in the channel, Wade said. Lack of depth in the channel is seriously affecting the number of import-export ships, and oil and gas industry vessels that can navigate the channel, Wade said. The corps has $12 million to dredge the channel this fall but no contractor wants to do it for that amount, Wade said. For about $10 million, Wade believes port officials can the keep it at 20 feet deep all the time with its own sidecaster dredge. The port plans to pay for the dredge itself and then get reimbursed by the corps for operation of the dredge. On Monday, the port commission approved issuing a work order for $2,800 to do a 3-D computer rendering of the port’s proposed sidecaster dredge and approved hiring a regulatory specialist to help with the dredging project. In other business, the commission: —Approved extending EnGarde Consulting’s contract for its work with the Government Emergency and Operations Center through December. —Accepted a change order to increase the amount of the Government Emergency and Operations Center contract by $37,791 to provide the infrastructure to accommodate a portable, 400-kilowatt second backup generator.
Published by Daily Review 08/11/15
Channel 3 KATC news report on new operations center.

Port of Morgan City Executive Director Raymond “Mac” Wade, above, talks Wednesday at the port’s 
Government Emergency Operations Center on La. 182 in Morgan City near the Morgan City Municipal  Auditorium.
Construction is half finished on the center, which Wade expects to open  in September.The  port’s $11 million Government 
Emergency Operations Center, left photo, was under  construction Wednesday afternoon. The contractor for the project, M.D.
Descant of Bunkie, has done well to stay on 
schedule despite frequent rain, Wade said. 
Published by Daily Review 06/11/15

goec51215Installation of the interior walls at the Port of Morgan City’s Government Emergency and Operations Center
is supposed to begin next week. The $11 million center is scheduled to be complete by the end of September.
Published by The Daily Review/Crystal Thielepape 05/12/15

progress3The Port of Morgan City’s Government $11 million Emergency and Operations Center is shown April 15. It is located on La. 182 
adjacent to the Morgan City Municipal Auditorium.  The center is scheduled to be finished by September.
Published by Daily Review 04/24/14

Workers pour the foundation Tuesday for the Port of Morgan City's $11 million Government Emergency and Operations Center on La. 182 in Morgan City near the municipal auditorium.


Workers with Ardaman & Associates take soil samples using a drilling rig today at the site of the Port of Morgan City’s government operations and emergency center.The site is located on La. 182 next to the Morgan City Municipal Auditorium. Workers are drilling the hole to 150 feet, and they will drill more holes through Tuesday to test the soil for
stability. In the background is the car wash across from the auditorium. The center will cost $9.3 million and will be able to serve as an emergency command center that can house governmental agencies.
Published by Daily Review 04/24/14

Port of Morgan City to build Government Emergency Operations Center across from Morgan City Municipal Auditorium

April 25, 2014 – PORT OF MORGAN CITY, LA, The Morgan City Harbor and Terminal District (Port of Morgan City) is pleased to announce that initial soils testing has begun for the approximately $9.5 million, 30,000 square foot, two-level Government Emergency Operations Center for the Port of Morgan City and surrounding communities.  Senator Bret Allain, Representative Sam Jones and Representative Joe Harrison were instrumental in securing Capital Outlay funding in the amount of $7.1 million for the construction of the Center. 

The facility, which is to be located on Highway 182, between Myrtle Street and Martin Luther King Blvd., adjacent to the Morgan City Municipal Auditorium, will effectively serve as a fully integrated interoperable governmental command center for emergency response and recovery operations.  The facility will allow for efficient coordination during any high risk incident such as a period of extreme weather or a maritime emergency.  At the onset of an emergency situation, command will be assumed by the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP), U. S. Coast Guard, FEMA and others.  Additional organizations and agencies are also planned to occupy portions of the facility in the future.

Ardaman and Associates will be performing soil investigations on the property over the next few weeks.  The facility is being designed by Morgan City Architect Carl P. Blum, and project management is being provided by EnGarde Consulting.  In response to the growing oil and gas industry in South Louisiana that will create additional traffic through the Port of Morgan City, all parties will be following a very aggressive project delivery schedule in order to be prepared to respond to emergency situations as soon as possible.  Plans call for the Center to be fully operational prior to the 2015 hurricane season.

The Port of Morgan City is resourced to provide support during recovery operations by utilizing its equipment and vessel to provide real-time assessment to the command center so that marine operations can resume promptly and effectively.

Port of Morgan City Executive Director, Raymond M. “Mac” Wade stated, “This is a prime location for a Governmental Emergency Operations Center.  The property is in close proximity to the Morgan City Police Department and The St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Department Morgan City Office.  Additionally, the Center will be contiguous to the municipal auditorium which has been historically utilized in emergencies for staging areas by agencies such as the National Guard, FEMA, and the Corps of Engineers.”

The Port of Morgan City is centrally located along the “Oil and Gas Port Corridor” which extends from Grand Isle to Intracoastal City in South Central Louisiana.  The Port is approximately 18 miles from the Gulf of Mexico at the intersection of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and the Atchafalaya River.  This location allows access to the Gulf of Mexico and to locations to the north, east and west while still providing safe harbor for vessels from surrounding ports during inclement weather.

“The Port’s goal is to help the Port District, St. Mary Parish and the Oil and Gas Port Corridor become more resilient so that we can put our people back to work as quickly as possible in the aftermath of a disaster,” said Wade.
For more information about the Port of Morgan City visit our website at www.portofmc.com.

For more information on this project, contact:

Cindy Cutrera
985-384-0850, Extension 114


National Waterways Conference Gulf Ports Assoc of the Americas Louisiana Industrial Develpment Esecutives Assoc Ports Association of Louisiana Gulf Intracostal Canal Association Inland Rivers Ports and Terminals US Coast Guard Houma

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