This federal investment will help the Port expand and improve its infrastructure and improve the environment
Washington (December 7, 2018) – Senators Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren, and Representative Bill Keating announced the release of a $15.4 million Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant to improve the infrastructure and environment of the Port of New Bedford. This funding from the federal Department of Transportation will help the Port of New Bedford extend its bulkhead, making room for 60 additional commercial vessels and providing an additional site for offshore wind staging. The project will also sequester 250,000 cubic yards of contaminated materials and provide for the beneficial use of 130,000 cubic yards of sediment.
“Christmas has come early for the Port of New Bedford, and all of the hard-working fishermen, off-shore wind stagers, and residents who rely on the Port’s success,” said Senator Markey, a member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee and Environment and Public Works Committee. “With this BUILD Grant, New Bedford will be able to make much needed improvements and expansions to the Port, while eradicating harmful environmental contaminants. It’s a simple formula: better infrastructure equals more commercial activity, and more commercial activity equals greater economic development and job creation for New Bedford and the South Shore.”
“This significant federal investment to improve and modernize the Port of New Bedford is wonderful news, and will help revitalize the local economy while making the Port more environmentally sustainable,” said Senator Warren. “I’m glad to partner with my colleagues to secure critical funding for projects like these across Massachusetts.”
“This is a significant amount of federal funds that will unlock the potential of the harbor and the City, further positioning the South Coast as a key hub – domestic and international – of the emerging Blue Economy,” said Rep. Keating. “This grant will also support our long-standing fishing industry, create hundreds of new and permanent local jobs, and lead to increased state and private investment in New Bedford’s commercial sector. I am eager to continue my work with my colleagues in the Senate to further advance the interests of the South Coast community and congratulate Mayor Mitchell on this exciting award for the City.”
“I want to first express my sincere appreciation to the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, and I want to especially acknowledge the strong advocacy of Senator Ed Markey,” said New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell. “From the moment we presented him with our proposal to dramatically modernize port infrastructure in the Upper Harbor, he recognized its transformative potential and embraced the project. I also can’t say enough about the contributions of other supporters, including Congressman Bill Keating and our partners at the Environmental Protection Agency--EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Regional Administrator Alexandra Dunn--who both took the time to personally visit the project site, and immediately saw the contribution this project could make toward the ongoing harbor clean-up. In sum, this is a win-win-win that helps clean our harbor, creates a much-needed new asset for our fishing industry, and opens the door to new opportunities in offshore wind energy and other marine industries. It is truly a great day for our City and our Port.”
In July, Senators Markey and Warren, and Representative Keating sent a letter to the Department of Transportation, urging Secretary Elaine Chao to provide this funding to the Port of New Bedford.