NEW: State Takes Lead on ProvPort Project
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Governor Lincoln D. Chafee today announced that the State of Rhode Island has partnered with the City of Providence to formally assume control of the $10.5-million Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER II) grant originally awarded to the City of Providence to purchase two mobile, barge-based cranes. The state has taken over the grant at the City of Providence’s request. Providence has taken significant measures to strengthen the Capital City’s fiscal ground, including this request to partner with the state to modernize ProvPort.
“I am pleased that the state has partnered with the City of Providence on this important federal grant,” said Governor Chafee. “Our Congressional delegation worked hard to win these funds, and under state guidance, we will continue to use them to complete the acquisition of two mobile cranes and two barges that will substantially increase the container ship activity at the Port of Providence. Leveraging these federal dollars, we are proactively investing in one of Rhode Island’s leading economic assets – our ports.”
“We must do everything we can to create jobs and maximize Rhode Island's economic development resources,” said Senator Jack Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee who worked over the last decade to secure over $47 million in federal funding to dredge the Providence River shipping channel to help ensure more ships could utilize the port. “This agreement is an important step toward upgrading the Port of Providence that will help build the capacity of Rhode Island as a hub for shipping.”
“This agreement marks an important step forward in the transformation of the Port of Providence into a modern marine cargo center,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. “Rhode Island’s federal, state, and local officials are pulling together with the marine industries to diversify shipping options in the region and boost the Ocean State economy.”
“The work at ProvPort that was made possible by the federal TIGER grant will provide critical opportunities for infrastructure improvement and economic development. I look forward to a productive partnership between the city of Providence and the state of Rhode Island,” said Congressman Jim Langevin.
“I am pleased that the state will be partnering with Providence on this critical project that will improve the infrastructure at ProvPort and help create jobs,” said Congressman David Cicilline, who, as Mayor of Providence, was instrumental in winning the grant. “As Mayor, I fought for these funds that will benefit our Capital City and the economy of our state.”
“This grant will allow the Port of Providence to enhance freight efficiencies - ultimately furthering the integration of waterborne transportation into the region’s overall transportation system, expand their port services, and contribute to the wellbeing of both the maritime industry and the local economy,” said David Matsuda, federal Maritime Administrator.
The new cranes to be acquired through the TIGER II grant will allow will achieve three goals: stabilize the existing port infrastructure, allow for expansion of bulk operations including exports, and develop a container operation. Today, the average port worker earns $80,000 in wage and benefits. This project will sustain the existing employment and allow for job growth moving forward. Yesterday, representatives of both the City of Providence and the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC), on behalf of the state, signed an amendment to the original U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration (MARAD) agreement awarding the TIGER grant.
Editor's Note: GoLocalProv co-founder Josh Fenton is a paid consultant for ProvPort.