Connecticut Port Authority State Pier Improvements Project Receives Final In-Water Work Permit, Board of Directors Approves Notice to Proceed for First Phase of Dredging

NEW LONDON, Conn. (December 21, 2021) – Today the Connecticut Port Authority (the Authority) Board of Directors authorized a notice to proceed to its construction manager to begin permitted dredging activities at its State Pier Improvements Project in New London (the Project).

On December 16, 2021 the Department of the Army through the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), New England District, issued to the Authority a Department of the Army Permit (Permit) for activities in waters of the United States in conjunction with the Project. This Permit process, combined with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) permit received in August 2021, was initiated by the Authority in May 2019.  

With all in-water work permits now in hand, the Authority is able to complete all planned construction activities at the State Pier. This final Permit specifically allows for in-water work including dredging deeper berths at State Pier and the Northeast Quay, reconstruction of a portion of the State Pier into a heavy-lift pad to support cargo, and the formation of an additional 7+ acres of upland area to substantially expand the amount and types of cargo that can be handled through the facility. By implementing the full scope of the planned project, enabled by this Permit, the Authority is creating the physical foundation for the offshore wind industry in Southeastern Connecticut and for a greater volume of diverse cargo movement through this public facility for generations to come.

“We applaud the decision by the USACE to approve the project’s federal permit,” said Authority executive director John Henshaw. “Paired with the state permit approved by DEEP in August, the project has achieved all regulatory approvals for in water work. This major milestone caps two comprehensive state and federal permitting processes that began more than two years ago.”

“With the in-water work fully permitted, the construction begun earlier this year can now continue with full scope in 2022,” said Authority board chair David Kooris. “The completion of these public facility improvements that have been planned for decades, enabled by the private capital contributions and long-term lease of the facility positions the Authority and our partners Gateway, Orsted and Eversource to achieve maximum utilization of the facility in 2023 and to start an exciting new chapter for the Authority, State Pier and the commercial maritime sector in New London,”

In October of 2019 the Authority entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) and Department of Administrative Services (DAS) for management and support services relating to the project’s construction and procurement activities. “Now that we have this final in-water work Permit, the Project Management Team overseeing the project plans to meet over the next month with the Construction Manager and appropriate Trade Contractors to compile a delivery strategy that generates the most efficient completion schedule at the least cost,” said DAS Deputy Commissioner Noel Petra. “We look forward to embarking on the final phases of construction on one of the most significant infrastructure projects underway in New England.”