Governor Walker announces emergency Harbor Assistance Grant
October 29, 2012
Governor Scott Walker today announced a $182,700 emergency Harbor Assistance Program (HAP) grant to the town of Washington in Door County. The grant will allow the town to finalize plans to dredge the federal navigational channel between Northport and Detroit Harbor. The Washington Island Ferry Line is dependent upon this waterway to operate.
"The ferry provides a year-round connection to the mainland for Washington Island residents," said Governor Walker. "It also generates more than $16 million in annual economic activity through the transportation of passengers, vehicles and cargo."
The current depth of the channel is 14 feet. The dredging will deepen it to 17 feet, which will make it safer to navigate – given declining lake levels and the larger size of modern-day ferries. The channel was last dredged in 1939. The ferry began operating a year later. These days, the ferry line makes up to 25 daily roundtrips during the high season and two during the winter.
Although the current HAP application cycle is closed, under state law, emergency grants may be considered by the Harbor Advisory Council and recommended to the Department of Transportation Secretary for approval.
The state’s contribution toward this project is 80 percent of the total cost. The town of Washington is required to pay the remaining 20 percent, or $45,675.
More information on WisDOT’s Harbor Assistance Program (HAP) is online.
For more information, contact:
Sheri Walz, WisDOT Bureau of Transit, Local Roads, Railroads and Harbors
(608) 267-9319, firstname.lastname@example.org