b'South Jerseys Port of SalemSOUTH JERSEYSPORT OF SALEMPART OF A DEVELOPING DE RIVER WIND-ENERGY LOGISTICS CHAINRedevelopmentandupgradedrailconnectivityarea good start, but the one-time fishing harbor needs more funding to bring a regional vision to fruition.By Peter Buxbaum, AJOTTen years ago, officials of Salem County, New400,000 tons a year of locally quarried sand for Jersey, thought it wise to invest $40 million toconstruction projects in the New York metropolitan upgrade the Salem Rail Line, a county-owned shortarea, a volume that is expected to grow as line serving the small southern New Jersey Port ofspending from the federal multi-trillion-dollar Salem, and secured funding for that purpose frominfrastructure program starts to kick in.the State of New Jersey and the United StatesBuilding the $300 million wind port seven Department of Transportation (USDOT). The ideamiles down the road from Salem represents a was to stimulate economic activity in an areasignificant expansion opportunity for the port. with an eroding industrial base, notably in glassMajor construction activities at the New Jersey production. Up until recently, those investmentsWind Port, located on an artificial island in the might have been considered a bust, but recentDelaware River, began in December 2021 and developments in the burgeoning New Jerseyoperations are scheduled to begin by early 2024. offshore wind industry indicate they could startThe Port of Salem figures to expand its portfolio to pay dividendsif the port can make furtherto support the development of the New Jersey improvements. offshore wind energy industry by accommodating The Port of Salem, a one-time fishing facilityoffshore wind component manufacturing that currently handles containers and dry bulkfacilities and with a rail-to-barge service to supply cargoes, is also the recipient of a 2021 U.S.components to the wind port. The ports improved Brendan Dugan, assistantDepartment of Transportation grant of $9 million rail connections could play prominently in that executive director SJPC matched with an additional $6 million from theeffort, finally justifying the $40 million investment.South Jersey Port Corporationto lengthen aThe rail system at the Port of Salem has wharf, demolish old structures, and do somebeen disused over the years, said Brendan Dugan, paving and fencing, as part of a larger plan toassistant executive director of the South Jersey redevelop the port. These improvements will bePort Corporation (SJPC). It was upgraded based of use in current port operationsbut the port willon the desire to generate economic development need more if it is to play in the wind-energy game.in Salem, which experienced a spike in The $300 Million New Jersey Wind Port unemployment when glass manufacturing facilities closed. There was some agricultural business that Current port users include Bermudawas handled by the rail line and the hope was that International Shipping Ltd., which carries 13,000it would increase but it really hasnt.containers of perishables and consumer goodsWith the upgrade in place, Salem can boast annually on a weekly service from Salem toof some impressive rail connectivity, especially for Hamilton, Bermuda. U.S. Concrete bargesa small port. The Salem Rail Line runs 19-miles 22'