Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced grants for nine harbor maintenance and improvement projects in Wisconsin. The improvements will boost statewide economic development by promoting waterborne freight, harbor infrastructure, and passenger cruise facilities.
"Wisconsin is fortunate to have a robust system of ports and harbors with our Great Lakes and the Mississippi River that border our state," Gov. Evers said. "We are committed to investing in strengthening our shipbuilding industry to support one of the most efficient transportation resources for our farmers and manufacturers, bolster economic development, and support good, family-supporting jobs."
"The ripple effect of the harbor grants is felt statewide," Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Secretary-designee Craig Thompson said. "The department makes continued investments in our commercial waterfronts because investing in transportation pays off in our quality of life and in our state's economic growth and well-being."
The 2021 Harbor Assistance Program grants include:
DeLong Co, Inc. - Port Milwaukee: $1,250,000 to construct additional storage facilities to expand commodity types received for the new transload facility designed to unload agricultural commodities from rail and truck on to sea-going vessels.
City of Manitowoc – City Centre, LLC.: $1,250,000 to construct a rail system and loadout platform for a 175-ton Gantry Crane, 60-ton Gantry Cranes, and ship to shore cranes. Broadwind Heavy Fabricators will fabricate crane components, and Konecranes will assemble, test and load cranes on vessels.
City of Sturgeon Bay – Sarter Marine Towing: $249,920 to construct new moorings and waterfront infrastructure at the city's West Side Dock (Sawyer Dock). The improvements will support Sarter Marine Towing Company, which provides tugboat support to Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding Company and other marine businesses.
City of Superior – C. Reiss Coal Company: $1,500,000 to construct a dock wall and dredge Saint Louis Bay for the development of a new harbor facility to be used by C. Reiss Coal Company to handle coal, salt, petroleum coke, and other bulk materials.
Town of Bell/Cornucopia: $460,586 to repair an existing dock wall to stabilize the shoreline and support the on-going effort to dredge the harbor used by commercial fishing companies.
Port of Manitowoc – Badger Carferry: $720,000 for emergency repair and reconstruction of the Badger Carferry ramp east counter-weight platform, investigate the condition of the west counterweight, and design needed improvements.
City of Prairie du Chien – Prairie Sand & Gravel (Gavilon Grain): $250,000 to reconstruct and resurface a deteriorated harbor access road. The project will improve the weight capacity and safety of truck traffic utilizing the harbor.
Port Milwaukee – South Shore Cruise Facility: $500,000 to construct passenger handling facilities including paving, grading, constructing enclosures, and security equipment. The enhancements will ensure the passenger facility meets U.S. Coast Guard regulations and improve passenger embarkation and disembarkation.
City of Oconto – Breakwater Park: $100,000 to repair a damaged breakwater structure protecting Oconto Harbor. Oconto Harbor is used by KCS Boats and commercial fishermen and the project will help ensure the harbor remains usable for these industries.
Created in 1979, WisDOT's Harbor Assistance Program helps harbor communities maintain and improve waterborne commerce. Applications are reviewed by the Harbor Advisory Council, which includes members from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, UW Sea Grant, Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and alumni from the Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute.
Applications are accepted from public or private harbor facilities for projects that benefit facilities used for cargo transfer, shipbuilding, commercial fishing, vessel cruises, or ferry service. All projects must have a transportation efficiency benefit-cost ratio greater than one over a 25-year project life and be identified in a current three-year harbor development plan. Selection criteria include economic impact, urgency, and project type. Those interested in the next round of Harbor Assistance Project grants should note that the deadline for the next cycle is Aug. 1, 2021.
For more information about Wisconsin's Harbor Assistance program or to review past grant awards, visit: http://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/doing-bus/local-gov/astnce-pgms/aid/harbor.aspx