Quonset Dredging Completed (USA)
Sen. William A. Walaska (D-Dist. 30, Warwick), who co-chaired a commission that studied the potential of Rhode Island ports, applauded an announcement from the Quonset Development Corporation that a major dredging project has been completed.
The QDC announcement was coupled with a report that, for a third year in a row, the number of autos imported into the Port of Davisville set a record high, making it the seventh largest auto-port in North America.
“As our commission found in its three-year study, our state’s outstanding ports, such as the one in Davisville, can be a key aspect of growing our economy, growing and adding businesses and creating new jobs,” said Senator Walaska. “On behalf of the commission which strongly supported the dredging project, we are very pleased that the completion of this work will open even more avenues for economic prosperity in our state.”
At the recommendation of the port study commission, the General Assembly last year passed resolutions formally authorizing the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation in conjunction with its subsidiary, the QDC, to issue a $7.5-million revenue bond for the dredging project. The bond will be repaid by operating revenues of the QDC and companies that utilize the Davisville port and the piers for maritime business. The bond does not involve any taxpayer money.
By not using federal government funding, the Davisville dredging project avoids imposition of a federal Harbor Maintenance Tax on port users. The fact that Davisville is not subject to the tax is a major competitive advantage for the port and the state.
The port required maintenance dredging to 32 feet, and the removal of about 260,000 cubic yards of material, to accommodate fully loaded ships, which have an average depth of 27 feet. The depth of the pier area, turning basin and access channel prior to the dredging was 27 feet and, depending on the tides, was shallow as 25 feet.
“Completion of this project is a major step toward growing maritime employment opportunities as well as promoting all of Rhode Island’s waterfront assets,” said Senator Walaska. “It will guarantee that the Port of Davisville continues to be one of the most successful and rapidly growing auto-ports in the nation. Dredging in Davisville is a critical piece of a renewed effort to strengthen our ports and the maritime industry, which will pay dividends not only at Quonset but all around the state.”
Press Release, January 31, 2013; Image: fstflorian