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Rhode Island Governor Tours Infrastructure Upgrades at Port of Davisville's Pier 1

Wed April 12, 2023 - Northeast Edition #9
Office of Gov. Dan McKee

(Photo courtesy of Quonset Development Corporation)
(Photo courtesy of Quonset Development Corporation)

Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee took a tour April 6 of ongoing construction work to upgrade the infrastructure at the Port of Davisville's Pier 1, located on the west side of Narragansett Bay near its mouth.

He was joined by James Diossa, the state's general treasurer, and Quonset Development Corporation (QDC) Managing Director Steven King to inspect the work.

McKee and the General Assembly allocated $60 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to the port in 2022 to assist in the development of Rhode Island's only public port, continuing Davisville's evolution as a key hub for the offshore wind industry in the North Atlantic.

As part of the initiative, the World War II-era Pier 1 is being revitalized as part of Quonset's $234.5 million Port of Davisville Master Plan. The overall efforts include replacing thousands of wooden pilings which have been in Narragansett Bay supporting Pier 1 for more than 80 years with new concrete and steel pilings.

"The Port of Davisville is a jewel in the state of Rhode Island's economy," McKee said following the tour. "I was encouraged to see our ARPA funds at work today, modernizing Pier 1 at the Port of Davisville. I am confident that our continued investment at Davisville will keep Rhode Island moving forward by upgrading the resources we already have in place."

Continuing infrastructure improvements as part of the Port Master Plan will position Davisville to stay within the top 10 auto importers in North America, he noted, while expanding capabilities for offshore wind.

The governor also was briefed on other components of the port's proposals, including construction of a new multi-purpose pier at Terminal 5 and a new docking space to support crew transfer vessels and support offshore vessels for offshore wind construction projects and landside improvements.

"Today's visit to Quonset's Port of Davisville exhibited the innovation happening all across Rhode Island — especially as it relates to the offshore wind industry," Diossa said. "When we invest in infrastructure our state remains competitive, supply chains are strengthened, and communities are equitably uplifted."

In his comments, King added, "Our continued infrastructure upgrades at the Port of Davisville will make Rhode Island a leader in the offshore wind industry. We appreciate the consistent support of our partners in state and federal government for their continued advocacy and support of [the state's] economy here at Quonset."

The Port of Davisville supports nearly 1,700 jobs and generates $98.9 million in household earnings for Rhode Island families, in addition to $374.3 million in business output annually. The port also brings in $45.5 million in total state tax revenue as well as $10.5 million in local taxes.

Built in 1941, Pier 1 at the Port of Davisville has increased its annual imports by 745 percent over the last 20 years.

The new project to upgrade its infrastructure aims to extend the pier's life by another 50 years.

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