Cross Sound Ferry Receives $500,000 Federal Grant for Pier and Harbor Improvements
(Norwich, CT) - Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) announced that the Cross Sound Ferry operating between New London, Connecticut and Orient, Long Island, New York has been awarded a $503,250 federal grant from the Maritime Administration. The funds will be used for shore side infrastructure improvements including installation of sheet piling & fill, dolphin pilings, relocation of ferry platforms, conversation of two existing ferry platforms, restoration of existing high-speed ferry slip, and maintenance dredging. Courtney wrote to the Maritime Administration in March in support of Cross Sound Ferry’s grant application and continually advocated on their behalf in subsequent months.
“This award comes at a crucial time for the Cross Sound Ferry which has been rapidly picking up in popularity and the funding will be used to further improve the passenger experience,” said Courtney. “The grant shows that the Department of Transportation has recognized that the Cross Sound Ferry has become an integral part of our regional transportation network. I will continue to work with Cross Sound Ferry as well as regional leaders to further build upon this vital economic link between Eastern Connecticut and Long Island.”
John P. Wronowski, president of Cross Sound Ferry, said, “We are grateful to Secretary Chao, Admiral Buzby and the Maritime Administration for this grant award and to have Cross Sound’s service recognized as a vital corridor in America’s Marine Highway network. As we transport more vehicles and passengers, projects such as this to improve the flow of commerce at our terminal are important. This grant will provide a tremendous assist in seeing this project come to fruition.”
Scott Bates, chairman of the Connecticut Port Authority. said, “This project is a key part of Connecticut’s overall maritime strategy to improve transportation opportunities involving ferry service. We are gratified that Senator Blumenthal and other members of the state’s congressional delegation are working in synch with us at the state level to maximize the transportation, economic development and job growth opportunities presented by a robust maritime sector.”
The projects selected by the Maritime Administration for this grant funding represent concepts for new services or expansion of existing Marine Highway services that have the potential to offer public benefits and long-term sustainability without long-term Federal support. These projects receive preferential treatment for any future federal assistance from the Department of Transportation and MARAD. The projects will help start new businesses or expand existing ones to move more freight or passengers along America’s coastlines and waterways.
The first round of Marine Highway Grants totaling $7 million were awarded in September 2010. In 2016 and 2017, the Program received an additional $5 million per year. The Consolidated Budget Act of 2018 provided a further $7 million.