U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) joined U.S. Reps. Mikie Sherrill (D-11) and Rob Menendez (D-8), along with Mayor Jimmy Davis, to announce a $730,477 U.S. Department of Transportation grant for Bayonne Dry Dock.
By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View
This funding will support the shipyard’s services by helping pay for the installation of a 30,000-pound forklift and procuring hydro-blast equipment to expedite ship cleaning.
“We applied for funding from the federal government in order for us to be more efficient. We’re able to do work now in a much more environmentally friendly way with this equipment we’re getting,” explained Bayonne Dry Dock President Michael Cranston.
“The people here have been huge supporters of Bayonne Dry Dock. Senator Menendez, for the last seven years, has been supporting us.”
Davis also expressed excitement about the new funding opportunity and thanked Hudson County’s federal representatives for getting the job done.
“Bayonne has a steep history in our military. Our federal legislators can help us get money to keep them employed, to keep this area viable. It’s what we need,” the mayor stated.
“There’s going to be no computers replacing them. There’s going to be no AI replacing them. These are jobs that need to be done by a person.”
Senator Menendez explained he had supported the Bayonne Dry Dock since he was a member of the House of Representatives.
“I got the army to give Bayonne, grant it outright, what was called the Military Ocean Terminal at Bayonne (MOTB), and a direct grant. We found out the peninsula was sinking. Then we found out the warehouses had asbestos. Then we found the wastewater system wasn’t working. This dry dock wanted to leave so we went to work.”
“For years, I would come here after literally a billion dollars worth of investments, I would say, what is going on? I was always shown a hole in the ground. I said that’s what billions of dollars get me? It’s gotta be more than that. I just saw an extraordinary redevelopment. It’s what I envisioned when we originally got the transfer to Bayonne, and we spent all that money to stabilize, to clean it up.”
He also said the site was the largest dry dock in the northeast, with over 300 workers providing services to anything ranging from tugboats to U.S. Navy ships.
“Just this last Congress, I passed with my colleagues’ help, a landmark bipartisan infrastructure law that will radically transform how we move goods within our borders and to markets outside of it. The international trade that flows in and out of our ports is the lifeblood of our economy,” New Jersey’s senior senator added.
Congressman Menendez said that the future looks bright for this Peninsula City business.
“It’s strategically important to this region. It’s important to the City of Bayonne. Today is a great day,” he began.
“This is an important part of our infrastructure serving oh the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, these types of projects are extremely important in terms of moving our nation forward, thinking about how we build an infrastructure that is resilient, how we make sure these ships can get back out to see.”
Sherrill, who is on the short list for Democratic gubernatorial contenders in 2025, noted they were there in December to christen a $25 million mobile boat hauler after a hero NYPD detective.
“I have yet to find a more bipartisan issue than bringing money back to the State of New Jersey. As the largest dry dock in the Northeast, Bayonne Dry Dock services ships, helping to keep them in top condition,” she declared.
“As a former Navy pilot, I know the work down right here in Bayonne is critical to American maritime success and our national security. The dry dock enables the U.S. Navy to keep our seas open and free while defending economic prosperity and democracy across the globe.”
She continued that the funding would help keep the U.S. Navy’s fleet safe.
“We have a great workforce. This gives us the tools for us to be more competitive than we are now. I know we can count on your support when we put in grant money next year for some more infrastructure improvements,” Cranston asserted.
“The Navy has allocated millions of dollars to upgrade their public shipyards. But the private shipyards, which we’re a part of, we need to get funding for that too. We’re going to make a big Push with the Port Authority. I thank you for your continued support.”
While he wasn’t able to attend in person, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) also expressed support for the dry dock in a statement.
“New Jersey’s shipyards are critical to our country’s maritime industry and national security, driving significant economic development in the state and strengthening our country’s maritime capabilities,” he said.
“This federal investment in the Bayonne Dry Dock will not only help support our region’s maritime industry and create jobs for New Jerseyans but ensure readiness of our naval fleets.”
Assemblyman Will Sampson (D-31) and his running mate/Democratic Assembly nominee Barbara Stamato – also the Jersey City Democratic Organization chair – attended the ceremony as well.