Port Of Oswego Responds To City’s Denial Of E. First St. Modifications

OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego Common Council’s Administrative Services Committee’s denial of the Port’s request for minor modifications to a section of E. First St. is a setback to port operations—now and in the future—and will add considerable expense to accomplishing material transport requirements for a small percentage of specialized projects. Without this modification this will place the port at a disadvantage in the market, said William Scriber, Port of Oswego Authority, (POA), executive director and CEO. “The Port has proposed removing 15 feet of the median and a bump out section of E. First St. to accommodate large cargo transport. This route has existed for the Port since 2003 and only recently was altered by the city. The estimated cost of the project is around $30,000 and the port offered to pay $25,000 of the cost. We have been in cooperative discussions with the city on this project for the past eight months.

            “Just one over-sized load can bring up to $80,000 into our community, which is not going into the port’s profits. It’s going to wages and local purchases. Taking a shorter, more direct route to Rt. 104 by way of E. First St. makes transport of over-sized projects much easier and at a lower overall cost,” Scriber said. “The alternative route we used to the east of the port for wind turbine components is not available at present as the board is in the process of acquiring property.”

The issue of safety on the street was discussed by several people at the committee meeting, particularly with the influx of tourism visitors to the new splash park.

“East First Street has been designated by the NYS Department of Transportation as a truck route for commercial traffic and larger dimension vehicles to the Port, and it has been designated as such since 2003. I want to stress and make it perfectly clear that this existed since then with no issues. A normal volume of 20-30 trucks passes through there each day from the Port and there have been no accidents to our knowledge. During peak grain season, we receive triple that amount. I can’t emphasize strongly enough that this modification would only apply to five percent of our traffic for specialized large load projects.

            “In 1999, the Oswego city engineer, and the Community Development Director considered this designation as a commercial truck route as offering a number of key benefits.  Hotels and a shopping center existed in this area at this time along with the attendant traffic they generated. Among these benefits were that the development of E. First street will improve industrial access of truck traffic from Route 481 east on route 104 to the industrial area both in the city and Town of Scriba.

            “Drivers of these over-sized loads are highly trained with numerous hours of safety training with specialized licenses,” Scriber said. “The risk of accidents is greatly reduced because of the skill and proficiency of these drivers. One of those trucks rounds a corner at no more than five miles per hour. The risk is minimal, and safety is not impacted.

            “If safety is the biggest concern by the city and local businesses, we question why  the same concern isn’t extended to W. First St. where you have a children’s museum, arguably four times the number of businesses, and a corner where there have been numerous accidents, ” Scriber said.

“When the city was planning to build the median in 2021, we asked to be part of the discussion and the impacts it could have on neighborhoods and transportation routes, Scriber said. “Our written requests were never honored or responded to.

            “We are a major business in Oswego and in our region. Even though we are a non-for-profit state authority, the Port generates local sales tax from purchases made by contractors and their employees working on projects at the Port. A recent economic impact study showed that the Port generated a total of $80.8 million in state and federal taxes generated by cargo and vessel activity.

            “Making this modification is essential as we anticipate more specialty freight projects in the near future, and a major influx of components associated with construction of new, nearby manufacturing plants.”

Print this entry

About ChirelloMarketing 977 Articles
Located in the Key Bank Building, Fulton, Chirello Advertising offers full service advertising, public relations, and marketing expertise to a variety of industrial, professional, institutional and retail clients throughout Central New York. Established in 1996, the agency specializes in public relations planning, graphic design, web design and streaming web video, video production, market research, radio, television, online, and print advertising. Steve Chirello can be contacted at (315) 592-9778, [email protected] and www.chirello.com. Profiles of the agency are also on Facebook® and LinkedIn®.