St. Paul Port Authority greenlights approximately $20 million of riverfront construction

It’s taken years to come together, but the St. Paul Port Authority is on the verge of soliciting construction bids on three major riverfront projects, including a dock wall rehabilitation by Barge Terminal No. 2 across the Mississippi River from downtown St. Paul.

“There’s $20 million of construction projects on the river that’s going to happen this summer,” said Todd Hurley, president and chief executive officer of the Port Authority, which manages each of the city’s four commercial river ports.

The Port Authority’s seven-member board of commissioners on Jan. 23 accepted two awards totaling $4.8 million in grant funds from the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s Port Development Assistance Program. Another $4.14 million comes from federal grants.

Much of the rest is from previous state grants as well as local matching funds provided by the Port Authority and tenant contributions.

The projects

These are the projects:

• The Port Authority will build three new silo storage structures and pneumatic conveyance lines for offloading materials from barges and rail cars at Barge Terminal No. 1, east of downtown St. Paul and across the river from the St. Paul Municipal Airport. The tenant, Bulk Silos at 2145 Childs Road, will cover the Port Authority’s local match and any potential project overruns. The total project cost is $5.7 million.

• At Barge Terminal No. 2, a long-awaited $12.3 million dockwall rehabilitation project will involve installing a new steel sheet pile wall by Upper River Services, which provides harbor management such as barge towing. “That’s the big wall down there by the river that’s been aging and crumbling,” Hurley said. The project received $6.3 million from the state in 2021 and $4.14 million in federal grant funding in 2022. Matching funds from the Port Authority and Upper River Services total about $1.9 million.

• Also at Barge Terminal No. 2, $1.1 million in “safety and resiliency improvements” will include replacing or adding additional mooring couplings and bollards, new guardrails with removable slit fence panels, mechanical upgrades and corrosion protection.

Because the projects are partially state-funded, each will include prevailing wage requirements, project labor agreements and performance bonds.

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