Governor Deval Patrick applauded the signing by President Barack Obama of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, a bill that provides federal funds to support the $310 million Boston Harbor Dredging Project.
According to the Army Corps of Engineers, dredging Boston Harbor will double volumes at the Paul W. Conley Container Terminal in South Boston, and every $1 spent on dredging results in nearly $9 in return, yielding $2.7 billion in regional economic activity in Boston and across the Commonwealth.
“By making the necessary investments in our nation’s ports and water infrastructure, this legislation creates new economic development opportunities in Massachusetts,” said Governor Patrick. “I am pleased that federal funding has been approved for the Boston Harbor Dredging project, which will help us create more jobs, increase trade opportunities and ensure the future economic competitiveness of the working port.”
Ports along the East Coast of the United States are investing to prepare for larger container ships that will be coming through the expanded Panama Canal when it opens in late 2015. Governor Patrick visited the Panama Canal and was briefed on its expansion during his innovation mission to Panama in March 2014. In addition to deepening the main shipping channels in Boston Harbor, the dredging project will deepen Chelsea Creek to ensure the safe and efficient passage of the 67 percent of the region’s petroleum needs that enter through the Port of Boston.
The Water Resources Reform and Development Act provides $216 million in federal funds for the dredging project. The total cost of the project is estimated at $310 million. The Commonwealth and the Massachusetts Port Authority will split the remaining non-federal cost share of the project.
“The Boston Harbor Improvement Project is what investment in infrastructure is all about: a deeper harbor means increasing container traffic at the harbor, and every tax dollar spent will produce nearly $9 in business activity,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren. “This federal investment will help strengthen our economy in Boston and throughout the Commonwealth.”
“Boston Harbor is an economic anchor for the entire New England region, and this investment will help ensure its future as a port of world-class distinction,” said Senator Edward J. Markey. “Deepening the harbor’s shipping lanes will help expand Massachusetts’ economy, create jobs and spur investment in the entire region.”
Press Release, June 11, 2014