Aubertine: OBPA Will Get $1.2M for Port Access Road

Darrel J. Aubertine

September 28, 2010


Project to enable port to handle massive cargo in investment to promote jobs, economic growth

Ogdensburg Port will benefit from $3.9 million investment total with rail project serving the port

OGDENSBURG (September 28, 2010)—State Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine today announced that the state will invest $1.2 million in the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority’s $1.3 million project to build new access road that will enable the port to handle overweight and over-dimensional cargo.

An additional $2.7 million will be awarded to the New York & Ogdensburg Railway Co. to replace ties and rail from Lisbon to Norwood and begin the effort to rehabilitate two bridges in Madrid and Norwood.

“Investing in our infrastructure is fundamental to creating jobs and growing our economy,” Sen. Aubertine said. “The funding for this access road is a critical part of our overall effort to strengthen the port as an economic development tool for the region. This project will expand the capabilities of the port and strengthen our ability as a region to attract and retain jobs. I want to thank the Wade and the Bridge and Port Authority board for all of their efforts to create jobs, the DOT for recognizing the importance of this project for the region and its potential to create jobs, and Governor Paterson for moving this funding now when it is needed.”.”

The Senator worked directly with the Department of Transportation and the Governor’s office to stress the project’s potential for economic development and sustainability, key criteria in the selection of more than 30 projects across the state, including another in Oswego and two more in St. Lawrence County.

“We applaud Senator Aubertine’s efforts supporting infrastructure improvement and rehabilitation in Northern New York,” said Wade A. Davis, executive director, Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority. “The access road to the Port of Ogdensburg and rail rehabilitation projects will generate jobs and investment in the Northern New York economy for years to come. The Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority thanks Senator Aubertine for his assistance in securing vital infrastructure funding creating jobs and investment in Northern New York.”

The Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority submitted a Project Funding Application to the New York State Department of Transportation for the construction of an Access Road to the Port of Ogdensburg, relieving heavy truck traffic from residential neighborhoods and allows the Port improved access to handle over-dimensional cargo.

This project is critical to the Port due to the upcoming rebuild of Paterson Street – the sole access route to the port, and upcoming over-dimensional projects at the port. Without this access, the Port of Ogdensburg will be effectively shut down and precluded from handling over-size, over dimensional cargo. Approval of the application will result in a significant number of jobs being created in the region for the foreseeable future due to improved access to the Port of Ogdensburg.

Frederick Carter, chairman of the Bridge and Port Authority Board, said the funding is another example of the Senator’s commitment to the community, crediting Sen. Aubertine with making sure the authority has been able to move forward with these key projects, improvements to the industrial park, and the rehabilitation of the bridge now underway.

“It’s been tremendous what the Senator has done for us,” Mr. Carter said. “This funding will help us address our economic needs, create jobs and make sure this community and this county will never have to deal with at time when this bridge is not here to spur economic activity. Our capital construction project would never have started if it wasn’t for Senator Aubertine and these projects are the same. He is a strong voice for the North Country and our needs.”

The New York and Ogdensburg Railway in conjunction with the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority submitted for funding to rehabilitate the New York and Ogdensburg Railway from Mile Post 11 to Mile Post 25. This funding will be used to improve safety at crossings and bridges, and to bring the main line up to limited 286,000 pound capacity. Recent derailment events have occurred between milepost 11 and milepost 25 creating unsafe conditions and delaying commerce at the Port of Ogdensburg. Approval of the application will substantially improve the reliability of the line.

In the 48th Senate District, another $1.75 million will go to the Port of Oswego Authority for a $2.25 million project to rehabilitate and reconstruct a section of the pier and install a new fender system in Oswego County.

“These investments will grow our economy, create new jobs and protect the ones we have,” Sen. Aubertine said. “This is all part of working together to make sure we have the opportunities we need here in Central New York and the North Country.

In St. Lawrence County also, the state will target $1 million to the Massena Terminal Railroad for a $1.25 million project in St. Lawrence County to resurface eight rail crossings and rehabilitate three miles of track in order to accommodate heavier rail cars; and another $318,600 to the Business Development Council of Greater Massena for a $354,000 project to construct a new rail siding to serve three lots in the Massena Industrial Development Park.

All five grants are part of a $42.1 million investment by New York State awarded from the $2.9 billion Renew and Rebuild New York Transportation Bond Act of 2005 approved by voters and the Governor’s Passenger and Freight Rail Assistance Program.