Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan visited the New Hampshire Port Authority in Portsmouth on Monday to talk about $1.6 million in federal funding to go towards dredging projects.

The funding is part of the new $1.2 trillion Biden Administration Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and will go towards maintenance dredging in the Piscataqua River and Portsmouth Harbor shipping channel. It will help to support further-needed maintenance dredging within Portsmouth Harbor and the Piscataqua River to improve navigation and safety.

Hassan led an effort to include an investment increase for ports, waterways, and dams during infrastructure negotiations, while Shaheen won provisions for water infrastructure and broadband.

The Piscataqua River Turning Basin Project will widen the uppermost turning basin of the river from 800 feet to 1,200 feet. In 2021, Shaheen and Hassan announced funding for the Portsmouth Harbor and Piscataqua River Navigation Project in the Army Corps FY2021 Work Plan to widen the Piscataqua River Turning Basin.

“Portsmouth Harbor and the Piscataqua River help facilitate the flow of goods from and through New Hampshire, which is critical to supply chains and our state’s economic prosperity,” Hassan said in a statement. “During negotiations for the bipartisan infrastructure law, I pushed for robust investments in our country’s ports, dams, and waterways, including those here in Portsmouth. I will continue working to ensure that Portsmouth’s waterways receive the improvements that are necessary in order to improve shipping operations at our port.”

"Maintenance dredging in our shipping channel and harbors has long been an issue affecting safety operations and our local businesses, so it’s important to see these efforts move forward,” Shaheen said in a statement. “Getting these projects underway are game-changers for New Hampshire waterways: improving navigational safety, creating jobs, and boosting the resilience of local infrastructure for years to come."

Geno Marconi, Director of Ports and Harbors at Pease Development Authority said that the projects will help the supply chain and economy by allowing larger ships and goods into Portsmouth Harbor.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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