Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Port of Monroe’s facilities stayed busy in 2020, buoyed by inbound wind tower components carried by the Happy River of BigLift. The towers were staged at the Port with other wind energy components and transported up to mid-Michigan for a large renewable energy project. The Calumet made a late season trip amid a snowy backdrop to take on a load of bottom ash.
In the spring, the Port had three vessels occupying each of the Port’s active docks. McKeil Marine’s Gagliarda (sailing the lakes now as Blair McKeil) ended its maiden voyage into the Great Lakes at the Port of Monroe. In the fall, the Port of Monroe facilitated a direct ship-to-rail transfer with the heavy lift vessel Happy Ranger of BigLift discharging a 350-ton generator stator to a specialized railcar positioned on a new rail spur that had been completed over the summer. The Happy Ranger then shifted over to the riverfront dock and loaded a full cargo of wind tower components for delivery to Peru.