Late this morning state and city officials convened near the Ocean Gateway Terminal on the Portland waterfront to celebrate the start of the construction on the Ocean Gateway Pier 11. The $4.8 million project will complete the vision for the Ocean Gateway Marine Terminal.
In his remarks, Mayor Nick Mavodones reminded the audience that when Bath Iron Works decided to leave this strip of water in 1998, the city had a decision to make. It decided to create a passenger port which could accommodate much larger cruise ships than it currently does. “The goal has been to create a sustainable port that is environmentally responsible, that welcomes the public and encourages economic development in previously depresssed areas and opens up the city to new economic opportunities within maritime industries….It is with these goals in mind that we were able to construct the Ocean Gateway International Marine Terminal.”
City Manager Joe Gray thanked Governor Baldacci and the Maine Legislature “for having the foresight to see the opportunity for economic growth with this investment.” Gray went on to say that during his many trips up to Augusta to meet with state legislators, he never heard “no. I may have on occasion heard “how much?” The economic downturn made funding this project challenging and that’s why Gray thanked the many parties who made it happen.
The celebration coincided with the final cruise ship visit of the season. The event was also marked as the guests drove symbolic piles on the waterfront. The facililty will provide fifty construction jobs.
None of the Green City Council members attended the groundbreaking.