Ports recognized for increasing tonnage

The Port of Ogdensburg was one of eight Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway ports recognized for increasing tonnage in 2020. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

OGDENSBURG — Bids will be going out shortly by the Army Corps of Engineers to begin the process of expanding the Port of Ogdensburg, according to Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority Executive Director Steven P. Lawrence.

A release from the office of Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer said the expansion of the port will decrease shipping costs and unlock new business opportunities by deepening the harbor, extending the dock wall and creating new storage facilities.

Plans for the expansion have been in the works since 2011.

Once bids come back and the Corps of Engineers chooses a contractor for the dredging of the harbor, the authority can begin work on lining up contractors to work on the extension of the dock wall.

The dredging project schedule needs to be set before the extension project can begin, Mr. Lawrence said.

The dredging work could include blasting, Mr. Lawrence said, and if so, it will delay starting the expansion.

“You can’t drive pile while they are blasting,” Mr. Lawrence said.

Work on the dredging won’t begin until the second quarter of 2022, Mr. Lawrence said. The entire project will not be completed until the end of 2023.

The project had been delayed while the OBPA sought enough funding to finish the project. A $10 million grant from the New York State Department of Transportation to complete the dock expansion made it possible for Sen. Schumer’s office to secure money to complete the dredging project.

Mr. Schumer’s office kept federal money available while the OBPA sought the last of the funding, keeping the project alive.

When completed, the port will be accessible to large vessels because of the deepening of the approach and harbor and will be able to dock two ships at once, increasing efficiency.

“Whether it’s more business or increased shipments from current customers, the Ogdensburg Harbor will now, quite literally, be more open for business,” Sen. Schumer said in a prepared statement.

The combined price tag for the two projects is $24 million, Mr. Lawrence said.

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St. Lawrence/Franklin County Editor

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