Guam kicks off port modernization
The Port of Guam officially broke ground Friday on its port modernization project.
U.S. Maritime Administrator David T. Matsuda and Navy Rear Adm. Paul J. Bushong presented a $50 million Defense Department check to Guam Acting Gov. Michael W. Cruz. 'The rebirth of this vital shipping port is long overdue,' Matsuda said in a statement.
The seaport is viewed as a vital asset to Guam's economy and U.S. national security. The maritime facilities have remained largely unchanged since its creation in the late 1960s. Old facilities and outdated equipment hinder the port's overall capability and pose serious obstacles to efficient cargo operations, the U.S. Maritime Administration said.
'The modernization project will ensure Guam's only commercial port is well prepared to accommodate the rapid expansion expected to occur over the next decade, including the pending influx of approximately 20,000 U.S. Marines and their families being relocated to Guam from Okinawa.' MarAd said.
Under a partnership formed in 2008, MarAd is providing federal oversight and coordination of the project and acting as a central procurement organization. The fiscal year 2010 Supplemental Appropriations Act authorized the Defense Department to transfer $50 million to the Port of Guam Improvement Enterprise Fund. The overall cost is estimated at $200 million for all phases of this project with the initial work scheduled for completion in time to meet redeployment of troops from Okinawa to Guam.