Port Of Oswego, U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers Sign Historic $600,000 Oswego Harbor Deepening Project Agreement
On Sept. 13, the Port of Oswego Authority (POA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), will sign a historic $600,000 agreement to deepen the port’s harbor, transform its capabilities and ignite new growth, according to William Scriber, executive director.
New York state recently awarded $300,000 to the Port of Oswego and USACE will contribute an additional $300,000 toward a joint feasibility study to deepen the harbor, Scriber said. This is the first phase in a three-step process that will lead to the design and construction of a deeper harbor.
To commemorate this agreement, POA board chair Francis Enwright, and representatives of the port were joined by Lt. Col. Colby Krug, USACE Buffalo District Commander, on the port’s east dock, where they signed a poster to commemorate the project partnership and its mission to “collaborate to deepen the federal navigation channel within Oswego Harbor, to maintain a strong national economy and adapt to future Great Lakes Navigation System needs.”
“After this has been discussed for more than 25 years, deepening the harbor and opening up our port for greater investment and growth will finally be a reality,” Scriber said. “For the past three years, I’ve worked with the New York State Department of Transportation, our local congressional delegation, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to convince them that there is a federal interest in deepening our harbor. This joint feasibility project is the important step before taking action. I’ve also worked in cooperation with our commercial neighbors, Lehigh, W.T. Oswego and Lafarge to earn their support for this project. This has also led to numerous conversations with vendors to bring business here to Oswego and to our region. In short, our Port is on track to grow and thrive at a level that it hasn’t seen in many decades, and I’m extremely proud of how my team has pulled together to make this happen. By deepening the harbor, we’ll be able to accommodate Seawaymax Class freighters, which are 740 feet long, 78 feet wide and have a draft of 27 feet. These vessels are the maximum size that can fit through the canal locks of the St. Lawrence Seaway, linking the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. Improving the harbor depth will open us up to larger vessels, and we’ll increase business for both the Port and other commercial business neighbors, such as Anderson Grain. We conservatively estimate that we’ll see at least a 100,000 ton increase and will ultimately reach and surpass our previous levels.”