The Duluth Seaway Port Authority was the recipient of a $10.5 million grant on Tuesday — federal money that will be used to construct a 56,000-square-foot warehouse at the Clure Public Marine Terminal on Rice's Point and rehabilitate 1,775 feet of deteriorating dock walls at berths along the Clure Terminal Expansion.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration awarded the grant from its Port Infrastructure Development Program, a Port Authority news release said.
"We are incredibly excited by the award," Deb DeLuca, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, said in the news release Tuesday. “This grant supports projects that improve and broaden the infrastructure of the Clure Public Marine Terminal and the value it provides."
The new warehouse will be served by rail and add to an existing 430,000 square feet of warehouse space at the Clure Terminal. Warehouse space has been in high demand by regional businesses, the Port Authority said.
The dock wall rehabilitation will fortify seven acres of lay-down space for inbound and outbound heavy-lift cargo and also protect the recently renovated dock deck, the Port Authority said.
"These projects will also allow us to expand our service capabilities at our multi-modal logistics hub, which in turn helps us support industries throughout the Upper Midwest,” said DeLuca, who thanked federal politicians representing the Northland for their support in receiving the funds.
"By investing in this port, we are ensuring reliable operations for years to come, and continued economic prosperity by extension," Rep. Pete Stauber, R-Hermantown, said in a separate news release.
In his previous role as a St. Louis County commissioner, Stauber served on the Port Authority board of directors.
"(S)o, I know the economic importance of a viable port and am proud to have helped secure this grant in my current role as Congressman," he said.
In 2013, the Port Authority received a $10 million federal grant that fueled the $17 million redevelopment of the Clure Terminal Expansion, where observers can typically see wind turbine parts gathered on the slip across from the port's gantry cranes.