The name State Pier refers to ownership by the State of Connecticut, previously the Connecticut Department of Transportation, and now the Connecticut Port Authority.
The State Pier in New London was formally named the “Port of New London, Admiral Harold E. Shear State Pier” in 1997 in honor of Admiral Shear. Admiral Shear championed the development and marketing of the State Pier in the 1990’s and was the driving force in promoting the economic potential of the pier and its reconstruction.
The proposed State Pier infrastructure improvements are being designed to address previously identified facility shortcomings, to enhance the conditions on the site, and to enhance the State Pier facility to accommodate future shipping opportunities for the State of Connecticut. The infrastructure improvements at the State Pier are intended to create a heavy-lift capable port facility totaling approximately 30 acres that will accommodate and support wind turbine generator (WTG) and assembly and other cargo and port activities. The on-shore improvements and activities at the Site includes derelict structure removal, demolition of buildings, excavation, grading, and installation of stormwater management systems and utilities. The in-water and over-water improvements include dredging, fill placement, and marine structure construction to create the new Central Wharf area and heavy-lift pad.
Additional space will make State Pier a more attractive and marketable Northeast port facility, as its current size limits its economic potential. The filling-in of this space will connect the CVRR and State piers to create a new central wharf, with wide open area, heavy-lift capacity and maximum flexibility for all manner of shipping operations, and thereby providing the opportunity for maximum throughput of cargo.
No, as it will be a Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) secure facility. Public recreational fishing is available on the public esplanade at the City piers and waterfront, and on the Fishing Pier at Fort Trumbull State Park.
The infrastructure improvements at the State Pier are intended to create a heavy-lift capable port facility totaling approximately 30 acres that will accommodate and support WTG hub and other cargo and port activities. The scope of work has the following primary components:
- Uplands Work: consisting of excavation of substantial portions of the upland areas to achieve final grades; existing buildings, site and utility demolitions; installations of new electric, storm, wastewater, and potable water utilities; and comprehensive site grading and paving.
- Northeast Bulkhead Work: consisting of the demolition of pier platform and in-water dolphins, dredging and seabed preparation, as well as new installations of a bulkhead, pile supported platform, and utility services.
- State Pier and the Central Vermont Railroad (“CVRR”) Pier Work: consists of partial demolition of existing pier structures, installations of new pier structures, bulkheads, pile supported platform surfaces, dredging of sediments in the Thames River including a new turning basin, seabed preparation, fill at the central wharf and final utility services and pier accessories necessary to complete the Project.
- Remediation: a number of designated areas of the Site (i.e., Areas of Concern or AOCs) that have documented environmental impacts associated with historical site operations.
The Connecticut Port Authority and New England Central Railroad (NECR)/Genesee & Wyoming Inc. have executed a 10-year lease agreement on the adjacent 5.5-acre parcel to the west of the facility warehouses. This lease will allow for storage of offshore wind components on the parcel. Terms of the agreement require that the CPA invest in rehabilitation of NECR’s existing twin freight rail line, which is located in the northern rail yard, beneath the Gold Star Bridge. The removal of track at the State Pier site will be compensated by these improvements to the NECR tracks which will be available for immediate use.
The Project supports the ability for the reconfiguration of future rail infrastructure to serve import and export cargo service. In fact, rail standards have evolved and contemporary requirements will need to be incorporated, specifically meaning horizontal and vertical geometry of the rail tracks to meet the proposed elevated grade of the site. The newest 3-axle locomotives and railcar configurations will also need to be considered, as well as modern 286k Gross Rail Load standard. The project will design near and longer-term options for incorporating rail into the facility.
The State Pier New London Facility will be redeveloped into a modern heavy-lift capable multi-use terminal. In the near-term it may be used, in part, as an offshore wind turbine generator hub, while at the same time continuing to support other existing long-term breakbulk operations for steel, lumber, copper billets and other cargoes.
After completion of the construction project, Ørsted/Eversource, also known as Northeast Energy Offshore or NEO, will lease the pier for 10 years and will position the facility as a premier staging and assembly port for offshore wind. During their lease period there will likely be times during that period when NEO will not utilize the facility to its full capacity. At those times, the Authority will work with NEO and port operator Gateway to market the facility for other cargo.
The long-term operations of the facility will accommodate a broad range of cargo types.
The construction would be completed in two (2) phases, “Phase 1: Uplands and NE Bulkhead” work and “Phase 2: Waterfront Works”. As noted above, some overlap between the phases may occur. Construction is anticipated to start in 1st Quarter 2021.
Phase 1 Work (Uplands and NE Bulkhead)
- Upland demolition and regrading, February 2021 to October 2021.
- Upland construction, February 2021 to November 2021 (Phase 2 Uplands construction into 2022).
- In-water work (under COP / GP2 authorizations): Northeast Bulkhead over-sheeting, Northeast Annex Demolition, Mooring Dolphin Demolition, February 2021 to June 2021.
Phase 2 Work (Waterfront Works: State Pier / CVRR Pier / Central Wharf)
- Pier Work (Pier demolition, sheeting and elevation improvements, heavy lift area construction, pier-side mooring structure installation, etc.), February 2021 to August 2022.
- Install King Pile bulkhead (and complete associated demolition work) at south end of Admiral Shear State Pier and CVRR Pier, February 2021 through September 2021.
- Dredging of NE bulkhead berth and jack-up pocket and transport of dredged material for onsite re-use/offsite disposal (as needed), October 2021 to December 2021.
- Dredging of Turning Basin and transport of dredged material for onsite re-use/offsite disposal (as needed), December 2021 to January 2022.
- Dredging of jack-up pocket at East Berth and transport of dredged material for onsite re-use/offsite disposal (as needed), January 2022.
- Filling of newly created Central Wharf area between the existing Admiral Shear State Pier and the CVRR Pier. Work includes placement of suitable onsite dredged materials, materials from the onsite uplands and additional offsite fill, compaction, stone column installation, aggregate surface installation, September 2021 to November 2022.
- Install temporary offices, September 2021 to May 2022.
- Utilities demolition, June 2021 to July 2021 and installation, July 2022 to October 2022.
The project is expected to be completed over a 2-year period and construction is anticipated to be finished in late 2022.
The Issue for Bid (IFB) design will be completed in designated packages, commencing February 2021 and continuing through approval of the Federal and State permit processes.
The Project has received a CT DEEP Certificate of Permission (COP) and USACE CT General Permit (GP) authorization letter for some in-water portions of the site improvements (such as improvements to the northeast bulkhead, demolition of existing mooring (dolphin) infrastructure). A Stormwater Construction General Permit authorization has also been received from CT DEEP.
A revised CT DEEP/USACE Joint Permit Application covering the full Project was submitted in October 2020. This permit application is for the CT Structures Dredge and Fill/Section 401 Water Quality Certification/Tidal Wetlands process, as well as the federal Clean Water Act (Section 404) and Rivers and Harbors Act (Section 10). Separate application has been made to the USACE for a Section 408 permit to alter or use a Corps’ civil works project.
USACE’s public comment period for the Project concluded on September 3, 2020. On December 16, 2020, CT DEEP issued a Notice of Tentative Determination to Approve Structures, Dredging & Fill and Tidal Wetlands & Water Quality Certificate And Notice of Hearing. The CT DEEP public comment period on their Notice concluded on January 25, 2021. A Public Hearing process was initiated on January 26, 2021.
CPA with the assistance of the State of Connecticut’s Department of Administrative Services (DAS) is managing the project. CPA has engaged AECOM to act as Construction Administrator to provide Owner’s Representative services in support of the project and consistent with the work and schedule identified in the Harbor Development Agreement (HDA).
Key Project Milestones (subject to change)
- 30% Design Documents: June 2020
- 60% Design Documents: July 2020
- 90% Design Documents: October 2020
- Construction Duration: February 2020 – October 2022
- Ørsted/Eversource, also known as Northeast Energy Offshore (or NEO) have a long-standing public commitment to make payments to the City of New London of $750,000 per year for the first two years of its operations at the upgraded State Pier facility. In addition to this commitment, NEO has engaged regularly with the Mayor/City of New London in the development of longer-term Host Community Agreement (HCA). Once completed, the HCA will provide additional financial benefits to the City for the duration of the Ørsted/Eversource tenancy at the facility (minimum of 10 years). The specific terms of the HCA are expected to be made public once completed and executed.
- Per an Impact Fee Agreement between the Authority, operator Gateway and the City of New London executed in January of 2019, the CPA will continue to commit 10% of its share of the accessible revenue from the State Pier Facility to the City of New London, as well as provide the City an annual impact fee to offset municipal service costs.
- Expanded operations will bring additional jobs and activity along the New London waterfront area, boosting local businesses who provide goods and services in the vicinity of the port and throughout the region.
Economic expansion at State Pier Facility means short, medium and long-term benefits to Southeast Connecticut and adjacent areas.
- In the short-term, jobs will be created as the infrastructure improvements start across the facility, requiring labor and technical expertise from the local workforce.
- The multi-year presence of the offshore wind industry will encourage an increase in regional manufacturing and jobs, as subsidiary industries are drawn to the region.
- In the long-term, the infrastructure improvements made to State Pier Facility will allow a wider range of cargo to utilize the upgraded port facilities.
- The infrastructure upgrades to State Pier Facility will allow accommodation of new cargo types requiring heavy lift capabilities.
- Increased ship calls and cargo flow translates into increased economic activity and revenue generation for the CPA, which will have increased capacity for investing in maritime projects and marketing the state’s maritime assets to drive economic growth not only in New London, but throughout the state.
- This Project aligns with the Lamont Administration’s plans to expand the use of carbon-free energy sources, and commitment to procure 2GW of offshore wind in the coming years.