OGDENSBURG — The planned deepening and extension of the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority’s docking facilities means that the port will be able to handle a wider array of cargo simultaneously.
On Friday, the authority announced that $18 million would be awarded from New York state for the extension of the port’s facilities.
The $18 million is the final piece of funding needed to start the port project and to begin making repairs on the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge.
The work on the port will come first.
“The Army Corps of Engineers project for the port is all permitted, approved and ready to go,” Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority Executive Director Wade A. Davis said. “So we will be figuring out how to put that out to bid with the Army Corps of Engineers and the bridge project is in the planning stage still.”
The port was last dredged in 1984 and as is, can only service one ship at a time.
When completed, the project will allow the port to service two ships simultaneously.
The extended dock area will also allow the port to handle more varied cargo at the same time.
Cargo handled at the facility includes wind turbine components; electrical generation equipment, transportation equipment, military cargo, dried distillers grains, road salt, wood pellets and other commodities, according to OBPA officials.
Some of those bulk commodities cannot be handled at the same time as others as the dock is currently configured.
With the extension, the dock could handle a combination like animal feed and road salt without fear of cross contamination, Mr. Davis said.
The additional flat space also opens the port up to the opportunity of handling shipping containers, Mr. Davis said.
Currently the port employs one full-time stevedore on duty at the port. Others are called in when needed to load or unload a ship or other projects.
There are currently 63 stevedores on the roster, Mr. Davis said, with the possibility of that number expanding.
“As more work comes to the Port of Ogdensburg, I am certain those numbers would expand,” Mr. Davis said. “More ships equal more work.”