Infrastructure Development Program Benefits Great Lakes Ports

By David Murray  |  Ports & Terminals
Several Great Lakes ports were among the recipients of a total of $703 million in grants announced October 27 from the United States Department of Transportation Maritime Administration’s Port Infrastructure Development Program.

‘Transformational’ Green Bay Grant

Aplena at Port of Green Bay
Aplena at Port of Green Bay

The Port of Green Bay announced on October 28 that with the $10.1 million grant, it has now secured a majority of the funding to transform the former Pulliam Power Plant property into a state-of-the-art port facility.

Dean Haen
Dean Haen

“This is great news for the port and our regional economy,” said Dean Haen, port director for the Port of Green Bay. “This new port facility at the mouth of the Fox River will generate jobs and economic activity that will be transformational for Green Bay and Northeast Wisconsin.”

Brown County previously secured a $15 million Neighborhood Investment Fund grant and a $1.1 million Wisconsin Department of Transportation Harbor Assistance Program grant for the project. The county also allocated $1.3 million in 2022 ARPA funds and $2.6 million in 2023 ARPA funds towards the project.

Haen said that the design phase of the project is expected to be completed by the end of the year with construction beginning in 2023 and project completion in 2025. GLC Minerals has already committed to buying 9.7 acres of the parcel to expand its operations.

Following acquisition of the property, an engineering firm began working to design the 40-acre port facility, including new dock walls, dredging, filling the old slip, a rail spur and stormwater management features and more to allow for movement of bulk cargo.

Troy Streckenbach
Troy Streckenbach

“For Northeast Wisconsin to be economically viable into the future we need to be continuously leveraging strategic assets to assure our competitiveness to bring in bulk commodities that support many industries and employ thousands of people,” said Troy Streckenbach, executive of Brown County. “Once again, Brown County competitively secured $10 million by being united in our overall support of our Port of Green Bay.”

Among the grant’s supporters were U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, U.S. Representative Michael Gallagher, Governor Tony Evers, WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson, State Senators Robert Cowles and Andre Jacque, State Representatives Elijah Behnke, Joel Kitchens, Kristina Shelton, David Steffen and Jim Steineke, as well as the New North, Greater Green Bay Chamber, other regional and national port and economic development agencies and a number of existing port terminal operators.

The Port of Green Bay has 14 active terminal operators located along three miles of the Fox River involved in shipping commodities.

Cleveland Port Improvements

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority (Port of Cleveland) announced it was awarded a $27,223,711 grant to improve cargo handling efficiencies, modernize and expand its electric and stormwater infrastructure.

“This project will make key steps towards improving the quality of stormwater discharging from the Terminal into Lake Erie and lay the groundwork for the Port’s electrification and emissions reduction efforts,” said Nicholas LaPointe, director of planning & capital development at the Port of Cleveland.

“We appreciate Northeast Ohio’s congressional delegation, Secretary Buttigieg, and MARAD Administrator Rear Admiral Ann Phillips for recognizing the importance of investing in the Port of Cleveland, and more broadly, Northeast Ohio’s economy,” said William D. Friedman, president and CEO of the Port of Cleveland. “By enhancing our port’s operations and improving our infrastructure, this grant will help create quality local jobs while bolstering our region’s competitiveness on the global stage.”

The project will improve the port’s largest warehouse (Warehouse A), continue the implementation of the Port Authority’s Stormwater Master Plan that seeks to improve the quality of stormwater discharging into Lake Erie, make necessary electrification investments to prepare the port for a zero-emissions future and construct a new on-Port maritime learning and resource center to support hands-on learning programs that prepare Davis Aerospace & Maritime High School students for employment opportunities in the maritime industry.

Increasing Efficiency in Detroit

Port of Cleveland
Port of Cleveland

The Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority received a $16 million grant to add rail extensions to reduce truck traffic within the port. The grant will also fund improvements that will double the capacity for fueling cargo ships that travel the Great Lakes and update the Port’s aging infrastructure.

The project is a public-private partnership between the Port and Waterfront Petroleum Terminal Company, which is the largest provider of fuels to marine vessels on the Great Lakes. The southwest Detroit-based company is also a supplier of liquid asphalt products to the roofing and road construction industries. Waterfront Petroleum will invest $6.9 million into the project, which aims to help improve efficiency of shipping on the Great Lakes, bring additional construction jobs to the area and increase economic development in the region.

Strengthening Port of Monroe

The Port of Monroe has been awarded just over $11 million to go toward its Lake Erie Renewable Energy Resilience Project. The grant will fund four components of the project:

  • Riverfront work will include replacing the surface of the existing wharf, constructing a second riverfront wharf to be used exclusively for vessel transfer of wind energy cargos and reinforcing shoreline stabilization;
  • Turning basin work will include rehabilitating the concrete dock cap, bollard and fender installation and replacing roughly 390 feet of failed sheet pile;
  • Maritime readiness slip construction will include demolishing and rebuilding an existing small boat slip to be used by harbor assist vessels;
  • Shore power infrastructure will include removing existing overhead lines and providing shore power to the riverfront wharfs.

This award is the single largest investment in the Port of Monroe’s infrastructure since it was constructed in 1932.

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