Senators Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren, and Representative Bill Keating recently 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.”
Markey added: “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.”
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.
“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,” commented Senator Warren. “I’m glad to partner with my colleagues to secure critical funding for projects like these across Massachusetts.”
“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.”
Mitchell added: “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.”
Filed Under: News, Offshore wind, Policy