Governor Dan McKee joined the Quonset Development Corporation and state and local officials to cut the ribbon on the modernized Pier 2 at Quonset's Port of Davisville.
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The $83.1 million expansion and modernization will extend the life of the Pier by 50 years and was completed $7 million under budget. The project was funded by a bond approved by Rhode Island voters in 2016, Quonset port users and the QDC itself.
By extending Pier 2 by 232 feet, creating a third berthing space and dredging the port to accommodate larger ships, the expansion will allow Davisville to continue its auto import success and prepare for future wind energy projects.
"Quonset's Port of Davisville is a tangible example of Rhode Island's economic momentum and investing in Quonset is investing in good paying Rhode Island jobs," said Governor McKee.
"I'm proud to cut the ribbon at Pier 2 and I'm looking forward to seeing the new $60 million investment my Administration secured in this year's budget to ensure Quonset continues to be an economic driver for the state, positioning us to continue leading the nation in the race for offshore wind."
As offshore wind developers pursue federal permits for construction off the New England coast, Rhode Island needs to continue preparing to accommodate increased activity.
That's why the FY23 budget that Governor McKee recently signed makes a $60 million infrastructure investment in the Port of Davisville enabling the construction of Terminal 5 Pier and completion of required dredging; preparation of about 34 acres to accommodate additional cargo laydown; and reconstruction and hardening of the existing surface of Pier 1.
Together, these investments will accommodate the existing finished automobile importing and processing businesses that call the facility home, while expanding capacity specifically for the offshore wind developers.
The Quonset Business Park is a major driver of the state's economy with more than 200 companies employing more than 12,000 people at the Business Park. Since 2005, nearly $3 billion in private investment has been made at Quonset.
Today, one of six manufacturing jobs in Rhode Island is at Quonset. The Business Park also generates $1.3 billion in income annually for Rhode Island families, as well as $136 million in state and local taxes and PILOT payments.
The state's only public port, Davisville supports nearly 1,700 direct jobs. Quonset's Port of Davisville is one of the top 10 auto importers in North America and berths hundreds of ships per year. ■