New London's deep water port facilities could see a major investment if the funds are approved at a State Bond Commission meeting set for Wednesday.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today announced today that the meeting's agenda includes a $6.1 million request to fund improvements to the port as well as State Pier. The money would go toward design, reconstruction, and enhancement of the port's warehouse and pier, with the anticipation that this would create or retain 74 construction jobs.
The project would include installing an energy efficient lighting system in one of the pier's main warehouses, improving the loading and offloading capability of the waterhouses, and upgrading the pier's wing walls. Part of the funding would also be used for smaller projects, including maintenance of the pier structures and equipment.
"The maritime industry is a vital component of our state’s economy," Malloy said in a statement. "It not only supports thousands of jobs, but based on the results of the study we commissioned last year, we know there is a potential for growth. In this difficult fiscal climate, it does not make sense to have these assets operating under capacity. Investing in these resources means jobs for residents – it’s that simple."
Malloy said the proposals follow the recommendations of the Connecticut Deep Water Port Strategy Study, which the Connecticut Department of Labor commissioned in 2011 to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the state's deep water ports in New London, Bridgeport, and New Haven. The study proposed long-term development and opportunities to grow business at the ports and retain existing commercial operations.
The report identified New London's private ferry and dry cargo services as areas in need of retention and expansion. It said there are growth opportunities for the port in wood pellet exports as well as imports of lumber, copper, steel, and fresh food.