Press Release: Gov. Evers, WisDOT Approve $10 Million in Grants to Eight Projects Promoting Harbor Maintenance

Office of Governor Tony Evers
Gov. Evers, WisDOT Approve $10 Million in Grants to Eight Projects Promoting Harbor Maintenance
Harbor grants support economies along Mississippi River and Great Lakes
MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers, together with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), today announced grants totaling $10 million for eight harbor maintenance and improvement projects to promote waterborne freight and economic development. 

“Wisconsin’s ports handle billions of dollars of cargo each year and our waters—from our Great Lakes to the Mississippi River—are critical for our businesses shipping goods around the world and powering our communities and our economy,” said Gov. Evers. “These grants will help build a stronger transportation network for our state and make sure our ports and harbors have the 21st-century infrastructure needed to support a 21st-century global economy.”

“The Mississippi River, Lake Superior, and Lake Michigan all provide Wisconsin communities with maritime routes for international commerce, and the investments we make this year build on strategic efforts to connect transportation modes and maximize opportunities for economic development,” said WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson.

Projects supported by the $10 million in Harbor Assistance Program grants include:

  • Perch Point LLC, Port Milwaukee - $720,000 to construct a loading dock and fixed crane to support the sale, movement, and delivery of shoreline protection materials along the Lake Michigan shoreline;
  • City of Superior - $813,800 to stabilize the existing shoreline and remove a failing dock wall on General Mills property located on the St. Louis River;
  • Hanke Terminals, La Crosse - $2.2 million to rebuild a failing dock wall used to export agricultural commodities and import bulk goods;
  • Briess Malt Inc., Manitowoc - $1 million to dredge the bed of the Manitowoc River and refurbish a ship unloading system used by Briess Malt to import and export agricultural commodities;
  • Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, Sturgeon Bay - $382,400 to dredge the bed of Sturgeon Bay to maintain navigation for vessels using the Fincantieri facility;
  • City of Superior - $3 million to rebuild a dock wall along property owned by Elkhorn Industries and dredge the bed of Superior Bay to establish an intermodal facility;
  • City of Manitowoc - $562,000 to dredge the bed of the Manitowoc River to restore navigation depth to support shipping at the St. Mary’s Cement facility; and 
  • City Centre LLC, Manitowoc - $1.34 million to construct a load-out pad for assembling, testing, and shipping new cranes designed by Konecranes Inc. 

Created in 1979, Wisconsin’s Harbor Assistance Program helps harbor communities maintain and improve waterborne commerce. Applications are reviewed by the Harbor Advisory Council, which includes members from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, University of Wisconsin Sea Grant, Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and alumni from the Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute.

Applications are accepted from public or private harbor facilities for projects that benefit facilities used for cargo transfer, shipbuilding, commercial fishing, vessel cruises, or ferry service. All projects must have a transportation efficiency benefit-cost ratio greater than one over a 25-year project life and be identified in a current three-year harbor development plan. Selection criteria include economic impact, urgency, and project type. Those interested in the next round of Harbor Assistance P grants should note that the deadline for the next cycle is Aug. 1, 2024.

More information about Wisconsin’s Harbor Assistance Program and past grant awards is available here.

An online version of this release is available here.