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Business North - The Daily Briefing - Business Newspaper Online
CN hopes to expand Duluth dock storage
PHOTO: After shipping is shut down for the winter. CN's loading dock nearly overflows with stockpiled taconite.
CN Railway hopes to expand its Lakehead Storage Facility in Duluth’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, where it has stored limestone and taconite pellets since the 1960s.
If approved by regulators, the project would entail filling 24 acres of shallow aquatic habitat with about 288,000 cubic yards of fill. A stormwater treatment cell would be constructed to process runoff.
In an environmental assessment worksheet (EAW), CN says the expansion is needed to address some existing material handling concerns and to accommodate future growth. Capacity will increase from the current 2.3 million tons to 4.4 million tons.
If the project, which includes 4,000 feet of dock wall improvements, is not able to advance, the transportation firm could experience structural problems with its No. 6 loading dock, which was built in 1918 and needs reinforced supports.
“A permanent repair to the dock is needed for continued operations. The facility could not serve as a taconite facility without the use of the dock. The estimated throughput of materials is expected to grow. The current footprint will not accommodate the growth potential. If materials can’t be stockpiled, customers will find an alternate port,” CN said in its EAW.
The proposed expansion would allow maritime vessels to unload directly to the storage area, according to Jim Sharrow, Duluth Seaway Port Authority facilities manager. Last week, the told the Port Authority Board it’s the first major dock expansion in 30 years.
“It’s an extensive capital project, and it bodes well for the port,” said Adolph Ojard, Port Authority executive director.
Two or more new ore producers could be potential users of the terminal – Essar and Magnetation.
The city of Duluth is accepting comments on the proposal until April 17. Written comments should be directed to Charles Froseth, Land Use Supervisor, 411 W. First St., Room 208, Duluth MN 55802. The Planning Commission will review the comments at their May 14 meeting. Electronic or email comments may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with “CN Dock 6 EAW” in the subject line. If submitting comments electronically, include name and mailing address.
CN hopes to complete the project by the end of 2014.
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