Four projects that support freight movement on Minnesota’s waterways received a total of $5 million in grants through the state’s Port Development Assistance Program, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) announced.
The program will help two projects in Southeast Minnesota, one project in Duluth and one project in the Twin Cities metro area. All will improve the transportation system and support growing industry and business.
The funding helps leverage local and private funding for a total construction program of $8 million.
“One of Minnesota’s strongest assets when it comes to economic development is its infrastructure,” said Mn/DOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle. “Projects proposed offer us an important opportunity to collaborate with our local partners to help enhance transportation and economic outcomes in Minnesota. The projects selected under this competitive program best demonstrated local government’s willingness to invest in the transportation system and the private sector partners’ commitment to job creation.”
Greater Minnesota projects
• Wabasha Port Authority ($454,876)
The project will construct a new barge terminal, which will include dredging of existing access channels and placement of the dredge cut material on the adjacent barge terminal site to raise elevation to create the five-acre terminal pad and access road. The project will significantly increase opportunities for river freight users in the area that must truck to/from the Twin Cities for river access. The total project cost is $625,500.
• Winona Port Authority ($454,512)
The project will install new paved drives, retention ponds and reinforced concrete piping and inlets designed to direct stormwater to retention ponds. It will improve conditions by reducing dust and improving the efficiency of truck movements within the property and redirecting surface water more efficiently. The total project cost is $649,550.
• Duluth Seaway Port Authority ($2,272,562)
The project will provide for additional vessel mooring and storage area at the facility, allow for dredging to full seaway depth and will stabilize existing failing timber and concrete dockage. The project will also help support the recently opened Duluth Intermodal Terminal. The total project cost is $4.4 million.
• St. Paul Port Authority ($1,818,050)
The project will install a rail-spur extension, rehab a connecting rail spur and pave a reinforced loading/unloading pad in the Southport Terminal. The project is a piece of the larger Southport Terminal Intermodal Improvement Project and will ultimately reduce the cost of freight transportation and facilitate more intermodal movements at the site. The total project cost is $2.5 million.
Minnesota’s commercial ports located on Lake Superior and the Mississippi River connect businesses to markets across the country and around the world. The state’s Lake Superior ports alone generate $1.3 billion for the state’s economy and support more than 6,200 jobs. In 2017, Governor Dayton worked with the legislature to invest an additional $5 million in the Port Development Assistance Program. Overall, the program has awarded $35 million since it was established in 1994.
More information about the selected projects and the PDAP program is available at www.mndot.gov/ofrw/waterways/pdap.html.