Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Urban Studies


Planning and Urban Studies

Major Professor

Dr. David Beriss

Second Advisor

Dr. Bethany Stich

Third Advisor

Dr. Jeffrey Ehrenreich

Fourth Advisor

Dr. David Gladstone


This research concerns the history of how the stories—narratives—which people tell about the Port of New Orleans and its related freight transportation have impacted Port-related traffic congestion on the last mile. “Last mile” refers to the last segment of a freight journey. In the context of the Port, it is the distance between the Tchoupitoulas Street exit ramp on US 90 and the entrance/exit of the Clarence Henry Truckway. The Clarence Henry Truckway is a 3.5-mile one way in/one way out dedicated truck route behind the floodwall of the Port on Tchoupitoulas street. Its access is threatened by proposed tourism-related developments.

Chapter one is an overview congestion at the Port and developments which will impact access. It gives the context of freight and logistics, economic development, congestion, and the environment. It then turns to an overview of the Port’s history and importance. Chapter two reviews urban studies and anthropology literature relative to freight. Chapter three discusses the primarily archival methodology. Chapter four discusses narrative in nine freight options: the Riverfront Expressway, freight on Decatur Street, Louisiana Avenue and other uptown arterials, extending Leake Avenue behind Audubon Park, a ship lock and channel connecting the Mississippi River with the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO), the MRGO itself, replacing the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal (IHNC or “Industrial canal”) lock, New Orleans Public Belt Railroad (NOPB) cars parked along Leake Avenue; and the Port’s proposed shipping container terminal at the Sinclair tract in Meraux, St. Bernard parish. Chapter five discusses the history of the Port freight narrative from organized Port dockworker labor. Chapter six covers the rise of the tourism/convention narrative. Chapter seven is about gentrification and the Port. Chapters eight and nine are a concluding discussion with policy recommendations.

This research argues that community narratives are primary in the facilitation of freight transportation infrastructure, rather than economic concerns about its benefit to the Port. The histories of these narratives show that the social and political capital of the potentially affected residents was more powerful than the economic development and job creation narratives of the business community and the Port.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.