The Albany Port District Commission has plans for some major renovations including a new wharf. The project calls for the removal of the existing wharf and driving piles and then the construction of a new concrete platform and tiebacks.
The wharf to be replaced has been in use since the Port first opened in 1932. It runs 1,100 feet north along the Hudson River from the Cargill grain elevator at the south end of the Port proper. Projects in the past have replaced the wharf north of that point. In addition to the new wharf, new on-dock rail will be installed.
Port General Manager Rich Hendrick believes that these renovations could bring new capabilities to the Port. “This will expand the capability of our on dock rail service and our expert handling of heavy lift/project cargo,” Hendrick said. “We will also have new technology to carry us late into the century.”
According to Hendrick, the project will also have an economic impact. “The port will be able to handle more cargo while being more efficient,” Hendrick said. He also added that the renovation could bring more business from existing clients and open doors to new business.
It is anticipated that the project will cost $7.5 million. While Albany Port District Commission Chairman Robert Cross has some concerns about the overall cost of the project, he is excited about the possibilities a new wharf can bring to the Port.
Money provided by the state will pay for $6.5 million, but the other $1 million will be covered by the port. “We might have to do it in stages but our work will definitely pay off with increased business and enhanced economic development at the Port,” said Cross.
These plans come at a time when the Port of Albany has seen an increase in cargo. Since the end of June, there has been 380,993 tons of cargo at the Port, compared to 215,387 tons a year ago.
“If the bids come in within budget, and the weather cooperates, the work could be done by mid-winter,” Cross said.