New Industries, new jobs, high-value commodities are bringing millions of dollars to the 7 parish Red River Waterway District. A recent update to the economic impact study completed by Dr. Loren Scott & Associates shows the vision of the Waterway designers has come to fruition.
” Over the past 50 years, residents of these 7 parishes have paid property taxes into the development of the Red River waterway. For that, they got $17.5 billion in new sales for firms in these parishes, $4.9 billion in new earnings for parish residents, 4,741 permanent jobs in these parishes, and $262.3 million in new local taxes. It doesn’t take a Ph.D. to figure out that was one heck of a good investment!” – Dr. Loren Scott
In 1965 the state of Louisiana created the Red River Waterway District and with it the Red River Waterway Commission. The Commission was created to establish, operate and maintain a navigable waterway. The Red River Waterway Commission is the local sponsor for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers J. Bennett Johnston Waterway Navigation Project. A 212-mile navigable waterway connecting Shreveport to the Mississippi River and the world. Since its inception, the RRWC has proven itself to be a significant economic engine working with the ports, parishes, and communities in the district, while also providing quality of life improvements with 19 recreation areas featuring boat launches, 2 RV parks, miles of trails, picnic pavilions, playgrounds, etc, along the Red River.
When considering that navigation to the Port of Caddo-Bossier was completed in 1994, the Red River is still a young waterway and the Ports along the waterway are growing and attracting new industries to the area and offering efficiencies to existing industries by allowing materials to be moved by barge. In most cases, these industries use the river to ship inbound and outbound cargo. While others might not use the river for commerce, they still benefit from the water-compelled rates of other modes of transportation.
The J. Bennett Johnston Waterway project has brought over $10.8 billion in new revenue over the life of the project. If you adjust the total spending to 2018 dollars that figure jumps to $14.4 billion. The study shows new spending at $14.4 billion, and new business sales at $23.9 billion, and new household earnings at $6.9 billion. The Red River Waterway Commission has been instrumental in the development along the river by assisting in Port Development at the 5 public ports, The RRWC also is responsible for the development, operation, and maintenance of recreational facilities. Along with these endeavors, the RRWC also partners with communities to bring events that drive tourism throughout the district. These events, including the 2009 & 2012 Bassmaster Classics, have contributed over $100 million in economic impact to the region.
About the Red River Waterway Commission
The Red River Waterway Commission (RRWC) is a political subdivision of the State of Louisiana created in 1965 and is the local sponsor for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) J. Bennett Johnston Waterway (Red River) Navigation Project. The RRWC boundaries include seven (7) Northwest and Central Louisiana parishes: Caddo, Bossier, Red River, Natchitoches, Grant, Rapides, and Avoyelles.