The Waterways mission is to continuously improve the state’s waterway infrastructure, maritime access, and port connectivity to facilitate an efficient, safe and seamless marine transportation system. We act as the non-federal sponsor for many navigation projects throughout the state. We interface with US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Regulatory branch in management of the Mississippi River, and the Civil Works branch in development and implementation of improvement projects.


Waterway Improvements

The Waterways group assists in facilitating the improvement of waterway infrastructure and channel deepening and maintenance through a partnership with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  These efforts are accomplished with congressional approval of the Water Resources and Development Acts (WRDA, formerly Rivers and Harbors Acts).  Currently there are three WRDA approved channel deepening projects in various phases.  The Mississippi River Ship Channel Deepening to a depth of 50 feet is in construction with a late 2024 completion.  The Acadiana to the Gulf of Mexico Access Channel Deepening to a depth of 16 feet is currently in the Utility Relocation process with a scheduled completion in 2025. The Houma Navigation Canal Deepening to a depth of 20 feet is currently in Preconstruction Engineering and Design with a scheduled completion in 2026.  Additionally the Waterways group assisted is the congressional approval through WRDA of two studies to modify current U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects , the J. Bennett Johnson Waterway (Red River) deepening to 12 feet , and the inclusion of Little River to the Ouachita Black Rivers Navigation Project.​


408 Permits ​

Due to the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, codified at 33 USC 408 (Section 408), USACE must be notified of any alteration or enhancement of a Federal Project through a Section 408 Permit. These permits require a Letter of No Objection (LONO) from all of the project’s non-federal sponsors. Please refer to the Navigation Booklet listed under the Documents and Maps section to the left to determine if your project impacts a federal project that the Office of Multimodal Commerce is the non-federal sponsor to. In the event that you do require a LONO the following documentation should be submitted.

  •  Formal Cover Letter – include a request for a LONO, description of the proposed project, and whether or not it impacts navigation
  •  Copy of Coastal Use Permit Application – if not in the Coastal Zone, submit a copy of the USACE Permit Application
  • Permit Drawings – include a vicinity/area map, cross sections, and area of impact of the project

Once submitted, you will be notified if any further information is needed or if your submission is complete. We strive to meet your needs, and set an internal goal of processing these requests within 30 days of receipt of a complete package.

For additional information about LaDOTD's Waterways Group, please contact us at 225-379-3038 or by email.​ ​​​