New Riverport Authority dock nears being fully operational

New Riverport Authority dock nears being fully operational

Owensboro Riverport Authority’s new low-water dock should be fully operational by mid-September, officials said Wednesday.

Workers are pouring the remaining concrete for the dock’s road, and trucks will be able to start using it once the concrete cures about 14 days later, project manager Bruce Cabbage said.

The expanded concrete facility along the Ohio River will improve operations for two main reasons, according to Cabbage.

First, the new 39-foot high dock is about nine feet higher than the previous structure. That extra nine feet should cut the time the dock is underwater by about 70 days, according to Cabbage.

“Normally, this would go underwater at around 30 feet; now it’s about 39 feet before it goes underwater,” he said. “So, that allows us to stay on the dock and work longer, instead of getting put out of business.

“We would actually get put out of business about 80 times a year. At this height, it will be maybe 10 times a year.”

The new dock is also closer to where barges are located. This will cut down the time it takes for material handlers to hoist product from the barges and load it into trucks.

Cabbage estimated that the time it will take to unload a barge will be reduced from 6-8 hours to 4-6 hours.

Another benefit is that trucks will be able to pull in on one end of the dock and drive out the other end — unlike the current situation at the higher dock, where trucks must back in, Cabbage said.

The Riverport Authority initially awarded Hartz Contracting a $1.66 million contract to construct the new dock in March, and estimated it would be complete by the end of June.

“There was high water and some material issues — getting concrete and stuff like that,” Cabbage said of the delays.

Riverport Authority President Brian Wright estimated the final cost of the project at about $2 million, which he said was offset by almost $500,000 due to the riverport supplying its own steel.

September 1, 2022: (Messenger-Inquirer)