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Business North - The Daily Briefing - Business Newspaper Online
New port grant will fund Garfield Pier redevelopment
The Duluth Seaway Port Authority will use a $10 million TIGER grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to redevelop Garfield Pier, which includes docks C and D. The upgrades will re-establish the dock’s structural integrity and also connect the 28-acre site to existing road access and rail infrastructure.
Once complete, the new platform will markedly expand the Port's general cargo handling capacity, port officials said in a Thursday news release.
“The award represents a major investment in this region's multimodal transportation system,” said Adolph Ojard, Port Authority executive director. “The Port of Duluth-Superior is strategically positioned to serve the heartland of North America. Returning this valuable parcel of land to the development stream allows it to once again become a productive community asset – offering strategic support to serve expansions in multiple core industries in the years ahead from the region’s nonferrous, iron mining and steel industries to the pulp and papermaking sectors, while further incentivizing new entrepreneurial investment.”
The project will increase capacity.
“This site represents the largest of just a handful of remaining parcels of land situated on Seaway-draft channels in this harbor,” Ojard said. “We’re rehabbing the platform of what was once a grain elevator…setting the table, so to speak, for future growth and development. Once complete, the port will have a new, competitive platform from which to address future business opportunities as they present themselves.”
The total cost is estimated to be $16 million. Additional costs will be covered by nearly $3 million in funds originating from the Minnesota Port Development Assistance Program and the Port Authority.
Preliminary engineering design work to stabilize and upgrade the site has been completed. The plan encompasses several components:
• Dock reconstruction, which includes replacing corroded sheet piling and deteriorated wooden dock walls
• Resurfacing the property
• Renovating a roll-on/roll-off dock
• Dredging adjacent waters for ship berths
• Installing road and rail infrastructure links
• Making safety and security enhancements
"We could conceivably bid the project yet this fall and be ready to start construction next spring,” Ojard said.
The Port Authority submitted a proposal in each of the four previous years and rose quite high in final rankings, but never made the final cut until now.
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