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Connecticut Port Authority Negotiating Contract for Construction Manager for New London State Pier Redevelopment

  • Connecticut Port Authority in negotiations with Omaha company Kiewit to serve as construction manager of the redevelopment of State Pier in New London
  • $157 million overhaul would transform the pier into a heavy-lift capable port that will support operations for the construction of offshore wind farms
  • Critics question whether the decision is abiding by federal and state rules

The Connecticut Port Authority is negotiating a contract with a company to serve as the construction manager for a major redevelopment of State Pier in New London. The at-risk award for a construction manager is a first step toward an overhaul of the site scheduled to begin next year.

At its meeting on Tuesday, the authority’s board approved negotiations with the construction and engineering company Kiewit. The board also allocated up to $2.8 million for Kiewit to conduct pre-construction services.

Kiewit, which is based in Omaha, has an extensive portfolio of transportation projects. These include the emergency repair and overhaul of a dock at General Dynamics Electric Boat in 2004 and 2005.

The $157 million overhaul of State Pier is designed to make “generational improvements” to the site, transforming it to a heavy-lift capable port that can accommodate a variety of cargoes. The energy company Orsted and New England utility Eversource are set to enter a 10-year lease agreement to use State Pier for the pre-assembly and staging of offshore wind turbine generators following the improvements. The port will be marketed to other customers when not in use for this purpose.

Orsted has been awarded contracts for several wind farms off the East Coast. These include three projects where Eversource is a 50-50 partner: Revolution Wind, South Fork Wind, and Sunrise Wind.

The Connecticut Port Authority’s schedule calls for environmental approvals in March and a construction period between February and August 2022. Construction on Revolution Wind, which would have a 704-megawatt capacity for Connecticut and Rhode Island, could start as early as 2023.

The construction manager decision sparked some pushback at Tuesday’s meeting, with critics questioning if it was in compliance with state and federal rules. Proponents of the State Pier project have argued that it will provide a modern port facility that can support the southeastern Connecticut economy, while critics charge that it will restrict cargo activities and that New London is being inadequately compensated as the host city.

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