Supports Port of Boston’s competitiveness in global economy, including 7,000 jobs, 1,600 New England businesses and $4.6 billion in economic activity
BOSTON – Today, Governor Charlie Baker, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Edward Markey, Congressman Stephen Lynch, local elected officials and representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) officially kicked off the Boston Harbor Dredging Project.
The $350 million state and federally funded multi-phase project will support continued growth at Conley Container Terminal, which has achieved three consecutive record breaking years for volume, including over 256,000 Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 – a 3.9% increase over FY 2016. The Port and Terminal generate $4.6 billion in economic activity, support 7,000 direct jobs and service exports and imports for 1,600 businesses across Massachusetts and New England.
“Deepening Boston Harbor and supporting infrastructure investments at Conley Container Terminal are crucial to Massachusetts and New England’s competitiveness in the global marketplace,”
said Governor Baker. “We are proud to work with our state and federal partners toward these improvements, supporting billions in economic activity and over 1,600 businesses creating thousands of local jobs.”
Project plans include maintaining the inner harbor, and deepening the outer harbor, main shipping channel and reserved channel to allow for larger container ships already calling Conley Container Terminal following the expansion of the Panama Canal. States up and down the East Coast are investing in their ports to accommodate bigger ships. The dredging in the inner harbor preserves vessels’ capability to deliver home heating oil, automobiles, jet fuel, and salt to terminals along the Chelsea and Mystic Rivers.
“A deeper harbor means more container traffic, and that means more economic growth. It’s good for Greater Boston, it’s good for the Commonwealth, and it’s good for the entire region,”
said Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). “I was glad to partner with Massport and the Port of Boston and to fight for federal funding for this project, and I’m excited to see it begin.”
"Boston Harbor is an economic engine for Massachusetts and the entire New England region, ensuring our industries, manufacturers, and workers are competitive in an increasingly globalized economy,"
said Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA) a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. "This strong federal investment will help further upgrade the harbor in order to accommodate more and larger ships, to bring in more jobs, more investment, and more economic prosperity."
“The Port of Boston has been the lifeblood of the New England economy for centuries and I’m proud to have supported such a significant investment in its future, and in turn, the future of thousands of Massachusetts workers who make a living along the Harbor,”
said Representative Stephen Lynch (D-MA). “Keeping the port competitive is vital to ensuring all of Massachusetts remains competitive in the global economy and a home of sustainable economic growth and opportunity.”
The overall project to deepen Boston Harbor will cost approximately $350 million, including $130 million from Massport and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and $220 million in federal funding, including $18.2 million allocated in the USACE’s FY 2017 workplan and $58 million included in the President’s FY’18 budget. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has contracted with Great Lakes Dredge and Dock to perform the work.
Economic development legislation proposed and signed by Governor Baker last year also permitted $107.5 million for Massport infrastructure investments at Conley Container Terminal, including the construction of a new berth and procurement of three new cranes to accommodate new, larger cargo ships.
The first phase of the project consists of maintenance dredging, including the construction of a Confined Aquatic Disposal (CAD) Cell just off the shore of the Autoport in Charlestown, which will safely hold tons of sediment from the floor of the harbor. This work is expected to continue through the end of the year.
“Investments we make today into the Port of Boston and the Conley Container Terminal are essential for New England to remain an important player in the global economy for years to come,”
said Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn. “We are grateful to our state and federal partners, under the strong leadership of Governor Charlie Baker, Senators Warren and Markey and Congressman Lynch, for continuing to support the Port, help modernize Conley’s facilities and allow the Harbor to handle even larger ships.”
Twelve of the world’s top 15 shipping lines call the Port of Boston home versus only five shipping lines four years ago and investing in Conley reduces the amount of goods that are trucked from New York, which lowers costs to consumers, improves air quality and alleviates highway congestion. Businesses using the Port of Boston and Conley Container Terminal include the Kraft Group’s International Forest Products, L.L. Bean, Jordan’s Furniture, and Christmas Tree Shops.
“International Forest Products is the largest shipper out of the Conley Container Terminal and the modernization of the Port of Boston is critical to maintaining our competitive edge in the global economy,”
said Daniel Kraft, President and CEO of International Forest Products. “The investments made in this project demonstrate a real commitment and signal that we have partners just as dedicated to growing our regional economy as we are.”
The second phase of the project, scheduled to begin in mid-2018, will deepen the Outer Harbor Channel, from 40 to 51 feet; the Main Shipping Channel, from 40 to 47 feet; and the Reserve Channel, where Conley Container Terminal is located, from 40 to 47 feet. Currently, Conley is able to handle 8,500 TEU ships - this project will allow it to handle up to 12,000 TEU vessels.