Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, Co-Chair of the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force, announced that the invitation for bid solicitation is expected to be released this week for the Port of Rochester dredging operation.
Slaughter said that dredging is expected to commence as early as May 2014. Slaughter also announced that the House-passed omnibus spending bill increases harbor maintenance appropriations to $1 billion – a $300 million increase.
“Today’s solicitation for the Port of Rochester’s dredging is news to celebrate,” said Rep. Slaughter. “I commend the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for moving this project forward. The Port of Rochester is a critical part of our community’s economy and this long awaited harbor maintenance will keep Rochester open for business.”
“Essroc has been importing cement through the Port of Rochester for over 50 years, and we thank Rep. Slaughter for her hard work to ensure the port is dredged. Maintenance dredging by the Army Corps in Rochester is critical to the success of our business,” said Essroc Senior Manager of Marine Logistics, Stephen Murch. “This year’s dredging operation is good news for Essroc, our customers and the Rochester community.”
Last May, Rep. Slaughter announced that she had secured an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge the Port of Rochester and Irondequoit Bay.
The solicitation released today is for the Rochester and Oswego dredging operation. The solicitation for the Irondequoit Bay project will be released in the near future.
As recently as 2008, Slaughter secured $1.5 million that allowed the Port of Rochester to be dredged. Since then, more than 244,000 cubic yards of sediment have accumulated along the harbor, which was compounded by the high winds and waves of Superstorm Sandy in October 2012 making it nearly impossible for commercial and recreational ships to navigate the waterway.
Last year, Congresswoman Slaughter helped usher a public private dredging operation of the Port with the Army Corps and Essroc.
This effort enabled the critical passage of Essroc’s Stephen B. Roman ship last August.
The fiscal 2014 spending bill that passed the House on Wednesday increases disbursements from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund by $300 million for harbor maintenance. Slaughter has been a long-time advocate for increasing Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) expenditures for its intended purpose. In November, Slaughter led a bi-partisan letter with 35 House Colleagues urging House and Senate leaders to use more of HMTF revenues on harbor maintenance activities.
Slaughter recently pushed for Congress to authorize the Great Lakes as a single navigation system and provide dedicated annual harbor maintenance funding for the system’s harbors and waterways in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, which is headed for final passage later this month.
Press Release, January 20, 2014