For Immediate Release - October 24, 2013

Patrick Administration Announces Completion of New Bedford State Pier East Wharf Rehabilitation

BOSTON – Thursday, October 24, 2013 – Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rick Sullivan today announced the completion of major rehabilitation work to the east wharf of the New Bedford State Pier, allowing the pier to begin receiving cargo shipments immediately. These repairs are part of a larger $1.4 million rehabilitation plan announced this September that involves additional work to the Pier’s south wharf over the next three months. The wharf project builds upon the Patrick Administration’s continued commitment to investing in infrastructure and opportunity, to create jobs now and strengthen the Commonwealth for the next generation.

“The Patrick Administration is pleased to share that repairs to the east wharf of the New Bedford State Pier is now complete,” said Secretary Sullivan. “This project represents a significant investment in our public infrastructure that will support businesses and local efforts to promote sustained economic development.”

The New Bedford State Pier is operated and maintained by the Division of Waterways within the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). A recent conditions survey of the Pier identified the need to restore the bracing below its deck and replace timber piles that had deteriorated as a result of age and damage from marine borers. The Pier provides public access to the waterfront and supports a variety of water-dependent uses, which emphasized the need to conduct immediate rehabilitation work.

“The New Bedford State Pier is a tremendous regional asset,” said DCR Commissioner John Murray. “We are thankful to Governor Patrick and Secretary Sullivan for their support in moving this project forward and appreciate the advocacy of our local partners. With these and other impending repairs, the state pier remains open for business as an important element in New Bedford’s maritime economy.”

Each cargo ship coming into the harbor provides $250,000 in economic value to the region. Repairs will allow New Bedford to market the Pier for break bulk and wind industry opportunities.

In May, Governor Deval Patrick joined federal, state and local officials to break ground on the Marine Commerce Terminal in New Bedford, the first terminal in the United States built to support offshore wind turbine deployment. This multi-purpose facility will also be able to handle high-volume bulk and container shipping, as well as large specialty marine and industrial cargo.

“The timely discovery of a risk to our port infrastructure, the collaborative problem-solving that ensued, and the successful outcome, represent government service at its best,” said New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell. “I could not be more pleased at how multiple state and city agencies came together under a pressing deadline, and I am particularly grateful for the role that Secretary Sullivan and Commissioner Murray played in coordinating the effort and seeing this project through to completion.”

“The timely completion of these long overdue repairs to the New Bedford State Pier by the start of the winter fruit shipping season will ensure that New Bedford continues to be a major hub for the shipping of this fruit and will provide for the continued employment of numerous maritime workers,” said Senator Mark C. Montigny, a co-sponsor of the Seaport Bond Bill. “These repairs are a first step in the plan to transform the State Pier into a multi-purpose fishing, shipping and tourism facility that will further economic development along New Bedford’s waterfront and make New Bedford’s port more attractive to a host of maritime based industries.”

“The Pier is very important to the region and will help further the region’s economy and ensure greater commerce opportunities for New Bedford and the surrounding communities,” said Representative William Straus.

“This investment means jobs for New Bedford,” said Representative Antonio F.D. Cabral. “This state investment will ensure that the New Bedford State Pier will remain an important resource for both our City and the Commonwealth.”

"We should all be thankful for the significant and rapid response of the Commissioner in making these repairs,” said Representative Christopher Markey. “These repairs will have positive impact on our economy in the years to come."

The repairs to the east wharf of the pier were completed by Reagan Construction Corporation of Middletown, R.I.

Originally constructed in 1915, the New Bedford State Pier is a multi-use terminal that serves as an intermodal transport interface between the shipping industry and the northeastern United States, through the Port of New Bedford and southeastern Massachusetts. With more than eight acres of pier and 216,000 square feet of storage, the New Bedford State Pier provides the site for the physical transfer of goods, as well as the consolidation, distribution and storage of cargo. It is one of four piers along the coast of Massachusetts owned by the Commonwealth.