Four projects that support freight movement on Minnesota’s waterways received a total of $5 million in grants through the state’s Port Development Assistance Program, the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced yesterday.
The program will help one project in the Twin Cities metro area and three projects in Greater Minnesota improve the transportation system and support growing industry and business.
“One of Minnesota’s strongest assets when it comes to economic development is its infrastructure,” said MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle. “Projects proposed offer us an important opportunity to collaborate with our local partners to help enhance transportation and economic outcomes in Minnesota.”
Included in the funding are Duluth Seaway Port Authority with $2,272,562 and Wabasha Port Authority with $454,876.
The Duluth Port project will provide for additional vessel mooring and storage area at the facility, allow for dredging to full seaway depth and will stabilize existing failing timber and concrete dockage. The project will also help support the recently opened Duluth Intermodal Terminal. Total project cost is $4.4 million.
The Wabasha Port scheme will construct a new barge terminal, which will include dredging of existing access channel and placement of the dredge cut material on the adjacent barge terminal site to raise elevation to create the five- acre terminal pad and access road. The project will significantly increase opportunities for river freight users in the area that must truck to/from the Twin Cities for river access. Total project cost is $625,500.
Minnesota’s commercial ports located on Lake Superior and the Mississippi River connect businesses to markets across the country and around the world. The state’s Lake Superior ports alone generate $1.3 billion for the state’s economy and support more than 6,200 jobs.
In 2017, Governor Dayton worked with the legislature to invest an additional $5 million in the Port Development Assistance Program. Overall, the program has awarded $35 million since it was established in 1994.