On Friday, September 15th, the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) officially kicked off the Boston Harbor Dredging Project – a three-year, $350 million state and federally funded multi-phase project. Governor Baker, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Edward Markey, Congressman Stephen Lynch, local elected officials and representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) were there to highlight the economic impacts the project will have on the Commonwealth and the entire New England region.
The Boston Harbor Dredging Project will continue to support growth at the Conley Container Terminal, which has had three consecutive record breaking years for volume, including over 256,000 Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 – a 3.9 percent increase over FY 2016. The Port and Terminal generates $4.6 billion in economic activity each year, supports 7,000 direct jobs and services exports and imports for 1,600 businesses across Massachusetts and New England.
The entire project will cost approximately $350 million, with $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 work plan and $58 million included in the President’s FY 2018 budget.
Last year Governor Baker signed economic development legislation that permitted $107.5 million for Massport infrastructure investments at Conley Container Terminal that included the construction of a new berth and procurement of three new cranes to accommodate new larger cargo ships.
The project will be completed in two phases. The first phase that will continue through the end of the year 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. The second phase of the project, which is 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, from 40 to 47 feet. When the project is completed Conley Container Terminal will be able to handle up to 12,000 TEU vessels an increase from the 8,500 TEU ships that it can currently handle.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has contracted with Great Lakes Dredge and Dock to perform the work.