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Jan 27

Manitowoc business gets $3M for harbor work

MANITOWOC – Local transloading business 1311 Spring LLC was awarded a $3 million grant to develop 520 feet of Manitowoc River shoreline by constructing a new dockwall and dredging 9,000 cubic yards of sediment.

Peter Allie, co-owner of 1311 Spring LLC, said: “This means that we can create some jobs here and have a working harbor. Companies here and, really, any company west of here would be able to make use of the harbor as a way to ship out their products.”

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation grant was approved by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Wednesday. A press release from DOT said the grant supports improvements that will “promote waterborne freight and assist economic development in the communities where they are located.”

RGL Holdings, Inc. in Green Bay was also awarded $2 million as a part of the Harbor Assistance Program.

 

The work on the Manitowoc River is expected to start in June and be completed by fall, Allie said. The work will be headed by a state-approved engineer and 20 percent of matching funds will be provided by 1311 Spring LLC for the project.

He said the city has been helpful in promoting the Manitowoc River and harbor as a working harbor to businesses and manufacturers.

Manitowoc Mayor Justin Nickels said the $3 million grant is a major accomplishment.

“Manitowoc is unique in that it has a working port, a working river and corridor,” Nickels said. “This creates unique opportunities for this city.”

While 1311 Spring LLC took the lead in getting the grant, Nickels said he is doing what he can to make the project possible and to open the river and harbor for more commerce.

In a recent Plan Commission meeting, new hours and new capabilities for what can be transloaded through the river was approved, including transporting stone. Nickels said while stone may not sound very significant, it could be a big business and lead to a lot of traffic on the river.

“What is happening now is a big piece of what we are looking to do in the next five years,” Nickels said.

The mayor said he plans to pursue acquiring the peninsula near Burger Boat, of which a large part is currently owned by the Canadian National Railway. Nickels said acquiring that land and improving the waterway around it is a vital piece to continuing to improve Manitowoc’s working harbor.

Alisa M. Schafer: 920-686-2105 or aschafer@gannett.com