March 1, 2024 — With cost estimates exceeding $34 million, the replacement of Port Dock 7 will
come before federal and state granting agencies following action at the Feb. 27 Port of Newport
Commission meeting.

Executive Director Paula Miranda asked for and received the go-ahead from commissioners to
submit two grant applications. The larger request of $25 million will be made to the U.S. Department
of Transportation’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant
program. The port is seeking the smaller yet still substantial amount of $9.5 million from the Oregon
Department of Transportation’s Connect Oregon program.

Acknowledging that these are big grant requests, Miranda told commissioners that these will be
the first of what is likely to be multiple applications until funding is found.

“This is a big project for us and for Oregon in general, so we’re just going to go for it,” she said.
The director said competition is likely to be fierce for the RAISE funds but the project is competitive
enough to make application a worthwhile effort.

“There are a fair amount of infrastructure grants available this year. We are going to keep on trying
because, as you can see, this is a huge amount of money,” Miranda noted.

The exact figure, $34,557,110, was estimated by DOWL, a professional services and engineering
firm hired for planning and permitting the project since late 2022. Dowl’s estimate includes
replacement, upland improvements, hoist dock replacement, and utility service. It also includes
replacement of the South Beach public fishing pier, which would provide the required mitigation for
the commercial marina project.

As with project estimates for any project of this size, there are always uncertainties that could drive
costs upward, but these are considered the best estimates today.

“This is a big enough project that we will get a lot of attention, not only from the state, but from
the federal side as well,” the executive director said.

Port officials regularly discuss the need for funding with agencies and legislators because of the
importance of the project. Port Dock 7 is comprised of 119 slips, but its declining condition has
required the port to restrict it to 60 vessels, most of which represent small businesses that provided
employment to area residents.

In late 2021, engineers from HDR Inc. inspected the dock and advised port officials that the
structure built in 1971 would need replacement within five years.

“They said it is the end of the life of this dock and we need to do something to replace it,” Miranda
said. Even though the port has invested in measures to shore up some of this failing infrastructure,
the organization has also had to restrict moorage to smaller vessels and take other steps to slow its

Even if successful in their grant applications, port officials fully expect to also utilize general fund
money and loans to achieve this major infrastructure rebuild.