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Union Pacific Plans $200 Million Expansion In Louisiana

Union Pacific Railroad will make a $200 million capital investment in southern Louisiana, expanding its operations and creating 225 new jobs along with 1,500 construction jobs.

The 225 new jobs will pay an average of $45,000 a year, plus benefits. Expansion plans are scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.

"Union Pacific is investing in this expansion to meet current and expected customer demand from the petrochemical plants along the Mississippi River, said railroad chairman James R. Young.

"The expansion includes three major projects: a new support yard in St. James Parish; instillation of an additional 29 miles of track from Livonia to Addis, providing dual lines for greater capacity; and the addition of more staging slots in Livonia," a Union Pacific spokesman said. During the peak of construction, in June, the expansion is expected to create 1,500 construction jobs.

"These investments reflect our commitment to build freight capacity that meets our customers' needs, while also promoting jobs and business growth in Louisiana," said Young.

Officials from the 150-year-old railroad company cited Louisiana's positive business climate for stimulating expansion and growth of Union Pacific's business in southern Louisiana. Expedited permitting coordinated by state agencies, such as the Department of Natural Resources and Louisiana Economic Development, also helped make the project possible, a company spokesman said.

"It's great that Union Pacific is laying track," said Dan Borné, president of the Louisiana Chemical Association. "An investment of this size shows the railroad is convinced that the renaissance in Louisiana chemical manufacturing is real and will continue.

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