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Ogdensburg port cited for busy 2012


OGDENSBURG — Business was good at the Port of Ogdensburg in 2012 — just ask the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp.

The corporation 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 with the previous year.

“The continued increases in the amount of cargo moving through U.S. ports is another strong indicator of our growing economy,” U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said in a prepared statement.

Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority Executive Director Wade A. Davis said he was pleased the port received the honor, for the third time in a 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. The Port of Ogdensburg is very grateful for the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation’s recognition of the efforts of our hard-working men and women to increase tonnage through the port,” Mr. Davis said

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 port’s 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 “direct result” of the windmill project, according to Mr. Davis, included more than $1 million in direct wages to local labor with up to 70 local jobs and more than $250,000 in port improvements, including more than $140,000 in stone purchases from the local Ogdensburg quarry.

This does not include the additional impact of the quarry workers and truckers.

The port also improved rail operations through a $56,000 project and installed a $2.9 million port access road.

The other honored ports 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.

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