Senators Shaheen, Hassan Discuss Infrastructure Funding for Portsmouth’s Waterways at NH Port Authority

January 31, 2022

NH Delegation Recently Announced Piscataqua River and Portsmouth Harbor Will Receive More Than $1.6 Million Through Infrastructure Law that Senators Shaheen & Hassan Negotiated

1.31.22 Senators Shaheen, Hassan Discuss Infrastructure Funding for Portsmouth’s Waterways at NH Port Authority 1

1.31.22 Senators Shaheen, Hassan Discuss Infrastructure Funding for Portsmouth’s Waterways at NH Port Authority 2

(Portsmouth, NH) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) visited the New Hampshire Port Authority today where they discussed the new funding that the New Hampshire Congressional Delegation recently announced for the Army Corps of Engineers to use for maintenance dredging in the Piscataqua River and Portsmouth Harbor shipping channel. The Senators also received an update on the ongoing Piscataqua River Turning Basin Project, which would widen the uppermost turning basin of the Piscataqua River from 800 feet to 1,200 feet.

“Widening the Piscataqua Turning Basin has long been a top priority for me in the Senate, which is why I’ve fought over the years to secure funding through the annual appropriations process to support this overdue project. I appreciated the opportunity to meet with the New Hampshire Port Authority and the Army Corps of Engineers this morning for an update, as well as additional insight on the dredging of Simplex Shoal, which received funding through the bipartisan infrastructure bill that I helped negotiate. Maintenance dredging in our shipping channel and harbors has long been an issue affecting safety operations and our local businesses, so it’s important to see these efforts move forward,” said Senator Shaheen. “Getting these projects underway are game-changers for New Hampshire waterways: improving navigational safety, creating jobs and boosting the resilience of local infrastructure for years to come. I’ll continue prioritizing the needs of local stakeholders across New Hampshire as funding from the bipartisan infrastructure package reaches our communities.”

“Portsmouth Harbor and the Piscataqua River help facilitate the flow of goods from and through New Hampshire - which is critical to supply chains and our state’s economic prosperity,” Senator Hassan said. “During negotiations for the bipartisan infrastructure law, I pushed for robust investments in our country’s ports, dams, and waterways – including those here in Portsmouth. I will continue working to ensure that Portsmouth’s waterways receive the improvements that are necessary in order to improve shipping operations at our port.”  

“I want to thank Senator Hassan and Senator Shaheen for their work to secure federal funding for critical improvements to Portsmouth Harbor and Piscataqua River,” said Geno Marconi, Director of Ports and Harbors, Pease Development Authority. “These federal resources will help expand the turning basin, and conduct maintenance dredging allowing larger ships and more goods to sail into Portsmouth Harbor, which in turn will help strengthen supply chains and our economy”

The Piscataqua River Turning Basin Project, which is currently underway, will widen the uppermost turning basin of the Piscataqua River from 800 feet to 1,200 feet. The additional funding from the bipartisan infrastructure bill will help to support further needed maintenance dredging within Portsmouth Harbor and the Piscataqua River to improve navigation and safety. These important investments in Portsmouth Harbor and Piscataqua River help support the economy, ease supply chain bottlenecks, improve safety, and protect the environment.

As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen helps secure annual funding for the Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) to complete necessary infrastructure projects in New Hampshire and across the country. The Corps completed key New Hampshire projects that Shaheen previously championed, including dredging Rye and Hampton-Seabrook Harbors. Last year, Shaheen secured $18.2 million for the Portsmouth Harbor and Piscataqua River navigation improvement project in the Corps 2021 work plan. The project would widen the uppermost turning basin of the Piscataqua River from 800 feet to 1,200 feet, improving navigation safety.

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