Governor Whitmer visits Port of Monroe
On Monday, April 3, the Port of Monroe welcomed Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer to its facilities for a tour and press conference. It is believed to be the first time that a Michigan Governor has visited a Port in the State of Michigan.
The magnitude of the Great Lakes shipping industry was on full display as the thousand-foot freighter James R. Barker was docked at the Port’s riverfront dock during the event. The Barker, owned by the Interlake Steamship Company, is one of thirteen thousand-foot ships on the Great Lakes and is capable of transporting over 63,000 tons of cargo in a single trip. Joining the Barker was the Great Lakes Towing tug Georgia and Vane Brothers tugboat New York.
The Port is celebrating new infrastructure investments in 2023 as it builds for the future.
Michigan Maritime Gateway
The Port of Monroe is developing the Michigan Maritime Gateway, which will be the first maritime container terminal in the State of Michigan. In July 2022, the Port of Monroe and the Opportunity Center at Arthur Lesow Community Center (ALCC) in Monroe was awarded nearly $13 million in funding from the bipartisan Fiscal Year 2023 state budget. The Port received $5 million for fiscal year 2023 in support of its container terminal project, and the Opportunity Center received $7.8 million to support facility improvements and continued programming. This service will allow Michigan importers and exporters access to international markets through the St. Lawrence Seaway. With its new container capability, the Port of Monroe is poised to join Cleveland, Ohio and Duluth, Minnesota as the only ports on the Great Lakes capable of handling international containers. Additional ports with container handling capability will strengthen the network of container ports on the Great Lakes.
Lake Erie Renewable Energy Resilience Project
In October 2022, Michigan Senator Gary Peters secured an $11 million federal grant for the Port of Monroe. These federal dollars will fund the port’s Lake Erie Renewable Energy Resilience Project, which will rehabilitate the Port’s existing infrastructure and build out new infrastructure. This project was funded through the Port Infrastructure Development Program. Governor Whitmer signed a letter in support of the project. The project is intended to increase the export of wind energy components manufactured by Port partner Ventower Industries. Last season, 90 wind towers manufactured at Ventower were exported through the Port of Monroe to New York for a regional renewable energy project.
Michigan State Grant Program
In July 2022, Governor Whitmer signed legislation to establish the Maritime and Port Facility Assistance Grant Program Act, to award grants to owners of port facilities and expand Michigan’s commercial maritime ports. The Maritime and Port Facility Assistance Office in the Michigan Department of Transportation will create the Port Facility Improvement Fund to implement and administer the program. The Port of Monroe was a dormant facility over a decade ago. Continued support from the State of Michigan will help the Port of Monroe and other maritime terminals in Michigan grow, diversify, and contribute to the State’s economy.
Read the articles about the Port’s progress:
Gov. Whitmer tours Port of Monroe following multimillion grant award – The Monroe News
Port of Monroe to become first container port in Michigan – WXYZ Detroit
Port of Monroe upgrades will include container shipping terminal – The Detroit News
Michigan’s Gov. Whitmer pays visit to Port of Monroe – Toledo Blade