Port dredge case ‘positive’

Published: Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 03:08 PM.

According to the study, the port dredging would create 319 construction jobs – short-term employment – as soon as 2015, with 707 permanent jobs in place each year of the ensuing decade.

The labor income over that decade would top $216 million with total economic impacts, local, regional and statewide, of over $552 million.

“The impacts in year one are less than the impacts over 10 years,” Lewis said. “That is the meat of where this happens. You get a lot more of your impacts in the out years.”

Combined with the railway investment and factory (user) jobs, the numbers grow exponentially.

The total impacts of rail and port expansion, the increase in factory activity, all of it sustained over 10 years, would equate to 803 jobs, $334 million in wages/payroll, $491 million in gross domestic product and a total economic impact of $940.5 million.

“I did not expect going into this to see the numbers play out so positively,” Lewis said.

Eugene Raffield noted the port’s case is also bolstered by the fact that just 40 percent of the shipping channel will have to be dredged, meaning a project of lesser scope than is typical, and that there has already been over the past decade considerable investment in infrastructure at the port.

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