The Port of New Bedford has submitted a $15 million TIGER grant for the 2017 round offered by the US Department of Transportation. The Port is seeking funds to build 800 feet of additional bulkhead in the North Terminal and complete Phase V dredging. This project will finalize the cleanup of the harbor, create more dockage space for vessels, create at least 900 new jobs, and unlock millions in additional private investment.
“The purpose of this project is to promote growth in the Port of New Bedford across multiple industries: fishing, offshore wind, cargo, and island freight,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell. “With the EPA’s recent approval, we are now in a position to seek funding for construction, and I am grateful to our federal and state legislative delegations for their support.”
The North Terminal will help the Port meet the demand of several different industries:
- As the seafood hub of the East Coast, the Port of New Bedford plays a significant role in the global seafood supply chain and commercial fishing economies from Maine to Florida. The terminal will afford the fishing and fish processing industry space to grow.
- New Bedford has positioned itself to become a center of the offshore wind industry in the years ahead. As the industry gears up to deploy wind farms from New Bedford, it has become clearer that the Port will need additional space to stage components, a service that a new terminal could readily provide.
- The North Terminal will offer the Port to expand its break-bulk cargo business, which has grown significantly in the last four years and created numerous jobs.
- With a new terminal would come more opportunity to ship freight to the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, which would alleviate truck traffic congestion in the small ports on Cape Cod.
“We feel we submitted a strong application, clearly demonstrating how this project will increase efficiencies for a number of water-dependent businesses and will spur immense economic development and private investment for the long-term,” says Ed Washburn, Port Director.
If awarded, this grant could leverage approximately $20 million in state dredging funds and complete the portion of the harbor cleanup not overseen by the EPA. Once completed, private business will be able to invest in maintenance dredging and business expansion in a simplified and more cost effective manner.
United States Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, Congressman Bill Keating, State Senator Mark Montigny and State Representatives Antonio Cabral, William Straus, Chris Markey, Robert Koczera, and Paul Schmid, have all voiced their support for the application.