Governor Walker approves $5 million in harbor grants
Funds cover safety, construction and dredging projects
Governor Scott Walker approved grants totaling $5 million for two harbor maintenance and improvement projects in Wisconsin. Improvements will promote waterborne freight and assist economic development in the communities where they’re located.
- 1311 Spring, LLC, Manitowoc (Manitowoc County) – $3 million to develop 520 feet of undeveloped shoreline on the Manitowoc River by constructing a new dockwall and dredging 9,000 cubic yards of sediment. This will allow 1311 Spring to better service increased local shipping/barge activities. These include shipping bottom ash and pulp wood, as well as loading up to 400 wind towers per year from the facility. The completion of this project will create a full service transload dock to ship manufactured and bulk goods, as well as take in raw and bulk materials for use in the local industry. This project is expected to add 5 jobs to the Manitowoc workforce and provide area businesses a cost-effective, efficient means to import and export material.
- RGL Holdings, Inc, Green Bay (Brown County) – $2 million for shoreside and waterside structural and safety improvements to accept cargo ships and provide loading and unloading capabilities. The project will elevate the site above the flood plain and provide a greater range of operating levels. Other major improvements include adding a rail spur and an elevated loading platform, as well as updating security systems. The company expects to import 50,000 to 100,000 metric tons of wood pulp annually by ship. As a result of the improvements to this site, which has not been used for dock operations in 25 years, the company expects to create 22 new jobs.
Created in 1979, Wisconsin’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 the Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute.
Through 2016, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation has administered over $128 million in matching funds for 102 port preservation and improvement projects along the Great Lakes and Mississippi River.
Applications are accepted from public or private harbor facilities for projects that benefit facilities used for cargo transfer, ship building, 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 August 1, 2017.
For more information about Wisconsin’s Harbor Assistance program or to review past grant awards, visit the WisDOT website.