Business was good at the Port of Ogdensburg in 2012; just ask the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.
Seaway officials announced Tuesday that Ogdensburg and seven other Great Lakes Seaway System ports received the Robert J. Lewis Pacesetter Award for generating increases in international cargo tonnage shipped through their ports during the 2012 navigation season compared to the previous year.
The continued increases in the amount of cargo moving through U.S. ports is another strong indicator of our growing economy, said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said in a prepared statement. In his first State of the Union address, President Obama called on us to double our exports by 2015, and our nations ports will play a large role in meeting that goal. As todays award winners demonstrate, were making good progress.
Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority Executive Wade A. Davis was pleased at the honor. It is the third time the port has been recognized with the award in the last decade.
The Pacesetter Award clearly demonstrates the economic relevance of the Port of Ogdensburg as part of the national transportation system, Mr. Davis said Wednesday. As recipients in 2012, 2010, and 2005, the Port of Ogdensburg has and will continue to contribute to the economic vitality of the region.
Steel, iron ore, salt, wind energy components, grain, aluminum and other commodities passed through the Seaway ports last year in greater numbers than in 2011.
Wind energy components were at the center of the Ogdensburg ports busy year.
Parts for more than 70 windmills arrived by cargo ships for subsequent delivery by barge and truck to wind farms on Wolfe Island in the St. Lawrence River and the town of Churubusco.
The impact of the windmill project, according to Mr. Davis, included over $1 million in direct wages for up to 70 local jobs claimed by workers from as far away as Albany, Newton Falls, Oswego, Plattsburgh, and Syracuse. Many of those workers stayed in local hotels and frequented retailers and restaurants.
The project also spurred more than $250,000 in port improvements including over $140,000 in stone purchases from the local Ogdensburg quarry, Mr. Davis said. That figure does not include the additional impact of the stone purchases on quarry workers and truckers. The port also improved rail operations through $56,000 in improvements and installed a $2.9 million port access road.
The project also resulted in two additional outbound ships which resulted in over 2,000 man hours and two additional cargoes, Mr. Davis said.
Other Pacesetter Award winners were the Port of Green Bay, the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor, the Port of Milwaukee, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, and the Port of Oswego.