Eight harbor maintenance and improvement projects in Wisconsin will receive $40 million in funding. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said the grants, totaling $40,565,780, would promote shipbuilding, waterborne freight, and assist economic development in local communities and across the state.
“Wisconsin has the unique advantage of being surrounded by water on three sides, with a vital commercial port and harbor system,” Evers said. “With the 2019-2021 budget, we committed to investing in this critical asset. These grants strengthen the link between our transportation infrastructure and the success of three critical state industries: agriculture, manufacturing, and shipbuilding. Ultimately, it all results in strong communities.”
Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s (WisDOT) Harbor Assistance Program, which was created in 1979, helps harbor communities maintain and improve waterborne commerce.
“The ripple effect of our 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.”
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, officials noted, adding 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.