08-10 October 2024

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$31M deep-water port in the works on Sault Ste. Marie waterfront

A major maritime shoreline revitalisation project in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula will bring both economic and climate benefits when it expectedly reopens to the public next summer.

The multi-million-dollar project involves repairs at the old Union Carbide Dock seawall in Sault Ste. Marie, cleanup of legacy pollution from calcium carbide manufacturing, improvement of mooring and bulk storage abilities, and the reopening of a community park and boardwalk with public access to the St. Marys River.

Work remains underway on the $31 million (€25.4 million) project and when finished in July 2024, the upgraded site will provide a valuable deep-water port on the lower St. Marys River for freighters or cruise ships within walking distance of the Soo’s downtown.

There will be an improved seawall and mooring space to accommodate boats and ships from pleasure craft to 1,000-foot bulk freighters. The dock will be open for vessel maintenance, refueling, and dumping wastewater.

One element of the project includes providing shoreside power infrastructure for ships docked at the port to have electricity from a nearby hydropower plant without needing to run their engines, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and improves local air quality.

The city expects the project to bring nearly $35 million (€28.7 million) in capital investment and create the equivalent of as many of 30 full-time jobs – a major payoff for what was a longtime problem.

Source: Cyann Fielding, AntwerpXL

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