New Mallory Pier anchors revitalized U.S. Merchant Marine Academy waterfront
In 2009, we made a special commitment to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA), that we would take the steps needed to restore the Academy in Kings Point, NY, to its rightful place as a jewel among the nation’s service academies. And last Friday, we celebrated one of the results of that commitment--a newly reconstructed Mallory Pier.
If we are going to ask our USMMA graduates to serve their country with distinction, it's only appropriate that we should provide them the tools and resources to prepare them for that effort. America deserves first-rate mariners, and Kings Point attracts first-rate students who give a hundred and ten percent every day. They deserve first-rate facilities to prepare them for service, including a modern waterfront.
With the 2012 addition of a state-of-the-art training vessel, the T/V Kings Pointer, and now a new Mallory Pier, DOT has made that waterfront a reality.
Victor Mendez with Midshipman Erin Hofstetter, First Class, and Rear Admiral James Helis. Photo courtesy USMMA.
At 825 feet long, the new Mallory Pier is an impressive sight. With a new timber wave fence system; a timer platform; and civil, electrical, and mechanical utilities, the rebuilt pier is a worthy addition to the campus and a sign that the Academy will continue to produce the skilled mariners our nation depends on.
It's also a sign that this Department is committed to continuing our work with the Academy to ensure top-notch training and facilities for Kings Point midshipmen. That commitment starts with ensuring the Academy has the funding it needs--not just to cover normal maintenance and administrative costs--but to make real investments in the improvements the campus and its students need.
From 2013, workers drive the first pile in the rebuilding of Mallory Pier. Photo courtesy USMMA.
Since 2009, the Obama Administration has invested more than $450 million at the Academy, including almost $100 million for capital improvements – the most funding ever secured for physical improvements at the Academy. And in the President’s most recent budget proposal, he’s requested another $80 million for Kings Point, including:
- $14.5 million for the Capital Improvement Program;
- $13 million for Bowditch Hall, the second academic building scheduled for renovation; and
- $1.5 million for major capital repairs and equipment replacement.
And our support for the next generation of mariners doesn’t stop at the Academy. We’re also improving the maritime industry Academy graduates are stepping into.
Since 2009, DOT has made significant investments in ports and maritime freight projects. Through our TIGER program alone, we’ve directed $420 million to 33 port projects. And with DOT getting set to award its sixth round of TIGER grants in the coming months, we're likely to see more port and maritime projects.
There will also be significant opportunities for maritime projects under our new surface transportation reauthorization proposal, the GROW AMERICA Act.
GROW AMERICA includes $5 billion for four more years of our TIGER grant program. It also calls for $10 billion for a new intermodal freight grant program that will improve the connections between ports and highways and railways.
A strong nation needs a strong economy, and that means the ability to move the goods that fuel that economy--by road, rail, air, and sea. The Department of Transportation is committed to the future of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and to the future of America’s maritime transportation system. The new Mallory Pier is one more demonstration that we take to heart the Academy's motto, "Acta, Non Verba"--Deeds, Not Words.