News Release for January 3, 2011

For more Information:
Paul Merrill, Public Information Officer - 207-624-3355 or 207-215-9297
Meg Lane, MaineDOT Office of Communications – 624-3030


Ceremony Marks Groundbreaking on Eastport Port Expansion

Maine Senate President Kevin Raye, MaineDOT Commissioner David Cole, and local officials celebrated the start of construction on a $7 million port expansion project in Eastport today with a groundbreaking at the construction site.

The ceremony marked the beginning of construction on the new bulk material handling system which will expand the capacity of the Estes Head Cargo Terminal in Eastport.

“This new handling system will create new markets and new opportunities for the port of Eastport,” said MaineDOT Commissioner David Cole, “This new system will make Eastport a destination for worldwide markets.”

The $7 million dollar project will also help diversify the port’s customer base, help engage new markets, and allow the port to handle new materials. Currently, the port’s primary exports are wood pulp and cattle. The expansion will increase the port’s storage capacity, and allow for storage of more diversified bulk cargos.

The project is financed through a federal TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant, a 2009 voter-approved bond referendum, and the Eastport Port Authority.

The bulk material handling system is a two-way conveyor system that will load and unload vessels at the port.

Installation of the handling system is expected to be complete by next fall. T Buck Construction of Auburn is contracted for the site work, and Hershey Equipment Company of Lancaster is the apparent low bidder for the handling system.