Under the Planning Assistance to States (PAS) program, the city of Rochester has requested planning assistance from the USACE, Buffalo District, to conduct an economic and dredging analysis to help the city determine the benefits associated with making Rochester Harbor a tourist destination for Great Lakes cruise ships.
The PAS program is used to prepare plans to manage water and related land resources.
Under this program, states and nations can benefit from the Corps of Engineers’ technical expertise in conducting studies which include water quality studies, wetland evaluation studies and harbor or port studies.
Recently, the Port of Rochester enlisted the support of the USACE Buffalo District through the PAS program.
The program will provide a comprehensive economic analysis which will determine if there are any regional economic benefits associated with upgrading existing facilities to accept Great Lakes cruise ships.
Further, the study will include an analysis to determine if the Genesee River has adequate draft to accommodate the large cruise ships and determine the necessary infrastructure upgrades that would need to accomplish before the cruise ships could call the Port a destination.
Currently, a Memorandum of Agreement is in route to be signed between the USACE Buffalo District and the city of Rochester. Once signed, this MOA will lead to the development of detailed economic and dredging studies, results of which will provide valuable information to the city.
The cost of the PAS study will be shared 50% federal and 50% non-federal, and once funding is in place, it is anticipated that the study will begin in late spring 2016 and will take approximately six months to complete.