USA: Governor Approves USD 6.8 Million in Harbor Grants

Governor Scott Walker has approved grants totaling $6,805,219 for three harbor projects in Wisconsin. The funds will be used to dredge and make repairs and improvements to docks in Milwaukee, Superior and Two Rivers. The State’s Harbor Assistance Program provides 80 percent of the needed funds, with the grant recipients providing a required 20 percent match.

Wisconsin’s commercial ports move more than 40 million tons of cargo, worth more than $8 billion each year,” said Governor Walker. “In addition, 9,550 jobs are dependent on the success of the state’s waterborne commerce.”

The three projects in this grant cycle include:

City of Milwaukee – $1,842,000 to Edward E. Gillen Company for the Gillen Marine Terminal, where cargo deliveries of more than 160,000 tons of steel and 2,000 tons of stone by truck or rail will be exported on barges for coastal construction projects on Lake Michigan. Phase one of the project will complete and improve the former Grand Trunk Car Ferry Terminal dockwall for cargo transshipments by restoring and extending the dockwall to accommodate barges. Phase two of the project will remove dockwall navigation hazards that resulted from deterioration after car ferry service discontinued in 1978. Phase two will also include dredging of the channel to 20 feet and the main slip to 18 feet. Phase three will include improvements for secure receiving and storage of cargo. Phase four will include further expansion and dredging to allow access to the existing fire slip. The Port of Milwaukee owns the project area, which is leased to Gillen. The project improvements allow Gillen to maintain and expand its business in Wisconsin and preserve 150 to 200 jobs.

City of Superior – $3,332,269 to Hallett Dock Company to dredge 1,500 feet of vessel slip and to install sheet piling for 1,245 feet of adjacent dockwall at Dock 8 in Superior. Presently, 1,500 feet of the channel is at a depth of 22 to 24 feet, which limits fully loaded vessels from delivering cargoes to the northern third of the dock surface. The entire project area will be dredged to full navigational draft of 28 feet, thereby matching the 28 feet depth of both the harbor navigational channel, the Saint Lawrence Seaway and the Soo Locks on the eastern end of Lake Superior. The area is used to receive, store, screen and ship more than 80,000 tons of limestone for the sugar beet industry, 180,000 tons of road salt, 600,000 tons of limestone aggregate and 7,400 gallons of calcium chloride annually. This award allows Hallett to continue its commitment to restoring Dock 8. Hallett has spent $4,300,000 in the last seven years on dock repairs in infrastructure and equipment on Dock 8, which had been inactive for 35 years prior to Hallett’s improvements.

City of Two Rivers – $1,630,950 to dredge Two Rivers Harbor between the 17th Street Bridge and the 22nd Street Bridge. Increasing the depth of the Federal Channel from an average of 6.3 feet to 10 feet will reduce navigational hazards for the commercial fishing fleet harbored in Two Rivers. Additional dredging near the docking facilities will allow adequate draft for vessels leaving the channel to reach their place of docking. The fleet is responsible for catching more than 276 tons of chub, whitefish and smelt annually, creating $4 million in economic impacts to the City of Two Rivers and at least 50 jobs that are directly associated with the fleet and support enterprises in Two Rivers.

Created in 1979, Wisconsin’s Harbor Assistance Program helps harbor communities maintain and improve waterborne commerce. Projects typically involve dock reconstruction, mooring structure replacement, dredging and the construction of facilities to hold dredged material. Since the program began, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) has administered more than $73.36 million in matching funds for more than seventy port preservation and improvement projects. Successful projects must pass a rigorous cost/benefit analysis and must receive favorable recommendations from the state Harbor Advisory Council and the WisDOT Secretary.

The next round of Harbor Assistance Program grant applications is due February 1, 2012. Approximately $6.6 million is available for harbor communities along the Great Lakes and Mississippi River to maintain and improve waterborne commerce.

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Dredging Today Staff, January 13, 2012;

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