The shipyard repairs and maintains large commercial and government vessels, which are docked across from the Teardrop Memorial and Cape Liberty Cruise Port.
Local, state, and federal representatives held a press conference at the shipyard on Monday, July 23, to announce the funding.
“This funding is going to help modernize the site’s dry dock equipment, which is critical because Bayonne is one of the few facilities on the East Coast that can serve large oceangoing vessels,” said NJ Sen. Bob Menendez. “We’re also investing in the site’s metalworking and ship maintenance equipment so Bayonne Dry Dock can keep succeeding in its core mission of ship repair.”
The grant will go to help modernize the site’s steel fabrication equipment, to purchase new industrial pressure washers that are used for cleaning ships, and improve docking infrastructure to reduce the time it takes for a ship to dock, according to officials.
When the facility drains the water, dockworkers can access the ships’ hulls.
“This funding is going to help modernize the site’s dry dock equipment, which is critical because Bayonne is one of the few facilities on the East Coast that can serve large oceangoing vessels.” –Sen. Robert Menendez
Menendez was joined by Bayonne Mayor James Davis, Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti, Assemblywoman Angela McKnight, and Congressman Albio Sires.
Menendez also touted the benefits of investing in industries that support high-skilled jobs. “I’m proud that we can invest in these workers and invest in their future,” he said.
Bayonne Dry Dock employs 280 fulltime workers and up to 400 subcontractors, according to local officials.
Bayonne Dry Dock is one of 29 small shipyards across the country that received money from the $20 million Small Shipyard Grant program. Shipyards must employ under 1,200 production employees to be eligible for the grant. The nearest to Bayonne of the other 28 shipyards to receive a grant is the Chesapeake Shipbuilding Corp., in Salisbury, Maryland, which received $492,047 for forklifts, a mobile crane, and the construction of larger mobile launching ways.
Bayonne Dry Dock handles ships from across the region and overseas but is often remembered in Bayonne for a job closer to home. Bayonne Dry Dock repainted the U.S.S. Intrepid in 2006. It was the only time the shipyard had ever repaired an aircraft carrier.
Rory Pasquariello can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.