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Old 02-23-2012, 08:02 PM   #1
BostonUrbEx
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$20 million Salem Wharf -- Salem, MA

This is the first I've heard of this. This is the article in regards to the $3.1 million first phase, with a grand total of $20 million expected to go into the project.


Quote:
Six contractors bid on $3.1 million Salem Wharf project

By Justin A. Rice, Town Correspondent

Six contractors submitted bids earlier this week for the $3.1 million Salem Wharf project after the city extended its original deadline on the request for proposals by two weeks.

In December the federal and state government gave Salem the green light to begin construction on Salem Wharf — a long sought after economic boon that could expand cruise ship traffic as well as draw whale watching and fishing boats to the pier. The improvements have been sought for 20 years, and Mayor Kim Driscoll has tried to secure funding for the project since she took office in 2006.

In October 2010 Salem received $1.3 million from the Seaport Advisory Council to make improvements to Salem’s waterfront.

This week bids to build the first phase of the project came from Randolph-based Sea & Shore Contracting, Quincy-based CRC Company, Inc., Boston-based Cashman Equipment, Inc., Lowell-based S&R Corp., East Boston-based BTT Marine Construction, Co. and Salisbury-based SPS New England.

“We would’ve loved more than six [bids] frankly,” Driscoll said in an interview last night. “But we’re just going through them now and we’ll get a handle on who bid, what their qualifications are and what the numbers are. I know that some of the bids came in over budget so we’ll be looking at what to do about that.”

City officials say the two week delay will not push back the construction timeline. Construction could begin as early as this winter and be completed by the spring of 2013.

Overall, the three-phase project is expected to cost $20 million and will include a 390-foot pier with a 180-foot T-shaped portion.

The second two phases have not been funded yet.

Driscoll said it will take at least a week to sift through the bids with the city’s engineering team.

Driscoll said it’s exciting to have concrete proposals in hand.

“Now we need to make sure we figure out how to live within our budget and get things going,” she said. “But it’s definitely a major step to get things going and have proposals in.”

Justin A. Rice can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com.
http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/...n_31_mill.html

Anyone know where Salem Wharf is? I know Derby Wharf (the really long one, with a lighthouse at the end) and Pickering Wharf (which is just like the adjacent Derby Wharf, but much shorter).
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:54 PM   #2
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Re: $20 million Salem Wharf -- Salem, MA

It is next to the power plant. This is where the Salem Ferry is berthed. Last year they repaired the dock (damaged in a winter storm) moved the ticket office (installed restrooms (?) and a deck) and put in a paved parking lot.
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:58 PM   #3
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Re: $20 million Salem Wharf -- Salem, MA

Ohh... err- rough spot. I'm surprised they're not utilizing Pickering or Derby instead. I can't see much appeal in a spot literally touching the coal plant facility.

Potentially a good use of "Ferry TOD" though.
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:24 PM   #4
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Re: $20 million Salem Wharf -- Salem, MA

Cruise ships? From where? Boston? New York, skipping Boston? Just seems unlikely.
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:00 PM   #5
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Re: $20 million Salem Wharf -- Salem, MA

Deep water. This is where the coalers come in and dock at the power plant. The water is too shallow by the Derry and Pickering Wharfs.
They have smaller cruise ships the roam the coast during the summer. Now that Gloucester has their new cruise terminal they are being visited during the season.
These are not the mega ships that visit Boston and New York.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:55 AM   #6
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Re: $20 million Salem Wharf -- Salem, MA

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Deep water. This is where the coalers come in and dock at the power plant. The water is too shallow by the Derry and Pickering Wharfs.
Exactly. Salem Harbor is as shallow as one or two feet during some lunar low tides. Salem's historic success as a port city was based almost purely on excellent marketing by the shippers (and testament to what good marketing can do), not a good harbor. As far as harbors go, it's almost useless.
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:10 AM   #7
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Re: $20 million Salem Wharf -- Salem, MA

The coal plant is shutting down (or maybe just converting to non-coal fuel) within the next two years.
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:48 AM   #8
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Re: $20 million Salem Wharf -- Salem, MA

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Cruise ships? From where? Boston? New York, skipping Boston? Just seems unlikely.
I'd guess they're planning on smaller boats doing things like fall foliage cruises or trips up to the maritimes. Maybe heading down to Bermuda.
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Old 02-24-2012, 11:40 AM   #9
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Re: $20 million Salem Wharf -- Salem, MA

^ Yeah, but still. The Maritimes are a long way off from Boston - they're going to put into port after a few minutes in Salem? And likewise for Bermuda - is anyone hankering to go out of their way for a Salem stop first?

Salem is a really cool town and I enjoy visiting, but I think it's just too close to Boston to make a cruise port work. The only thing I could see would be some kind of really small day cruise operation plying the North Shore...
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Old 02-24-2012, 11:59 AM   #10
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Re: $20 million Salem Wharf -- Salem, MA

They should boost the ferry service, do some whale watches, and have some seasonal fishing trip boats.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:17 PM   #11
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Re: $20 million Salem Wharf -- Salem, MA

Salem's just the jumping off point. Even then, it's at least a half way interesting one. They'd probably draw mostly from New England, but probably also grab a few interested outsiders.

The distances aren't that far actually. The old Bar Harbor Ferry was 2.5 hours according to Wikipedia. I'd guess it could have done Salem to Halifax in about 4 or 5. That's more than enough time for a 4-7 day cruise with some stops in between.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:12 PM   #12
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Re: $20 million Salem Wharf -- Salem, MA

Derby Wharf is National Park Service land. Pickering Wharf is inaccessible to any boat with significant draft at low tide.

The power plant is to cease burning coal in 2014. Dominion Power, the owner, will shut the plant down. Another company is very interested in buying the property and converting the plant to natural gas. A big natural gas pipeline was installed running in part under the harbor between Salem and Beverly a few years ago. If the plant is converted to natural gas, that will 'free up' for development several dozen acres of land between the power plant building and the Salem Ferry site.

Salem harbor is dredged to 30-35 feet IIRC in the channel between Baker's Island to the wharf at the power plant. The coal burnt at the plant is delivered by ship. The railroad spur to the power plant was discontinued perhaps 30 years ago, when the plant began using oil exclusively (before the price of oil went up).

Any cruise ships are likely to be small, the 200 passenger size, not the ten deck behemoths.

The van Otterloos have just endowed the directorship of the Peabody Essex Museum.

<End of message>
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:55 PM   #13
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Re: $20 million Salem Wharf -- Salem, MA

Last year Gloucester was visited by several ships. The Seabourn Pride is the size of ship that could use a Salem wharf. If Gloucester can attract cruise lines it should be easy for Salem to join the club. I love Gloucester, but Salem has it beat "hands down" for attractions, food and history.
http://travel.usatoday.com/cruises/p...sions/167847/1
The larger ships are stopping at Gloucester, but the stay outside the breakwater and ferry people to the new cruiseport. They can do the same for Salem, once the wharf is built.
If, or when the footprint of the old power plant shrinks that opens up a deepwater berth on the north side of the new Salem wharf.
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:43 PM   #14
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Re: $20 million Salem Wharf -- Salem, MA

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The coal plant is shutting down (or maybe just converting to non-coal fuel) within the next two years.
I think shutdown was what the operator was doing, and state's trying to damage-control that and the lost jobs by offering up alternatives (in vain?).

Even if the plant goes away that's going to be a rough and polluted area for a very long time. Outdated coal plants are not-nice neighbors even when mothballed.
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Old 02-25-2012, 04:02 AM   #15
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Re: $20 million Salem Wharf -- Salem, MA

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Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
I think shutdown was what the operator was doing, and state's trying to damage-control that and the lost jobs by offering up alternatives (in vain?).

Even if the plant goes away that's going to be a rough and polluted area for a very long time. Outdated coal plants are not-nice neighbors even when mothballed.
F-Line -- By far the best use of the site of the Salem Harbor Power Plant -- is --- Surprise! another power plant this time burning natural gas

1) the HV wiring is alredy in place and that part of the the grid needs local generation
2) Natural gas is increasingly cheap and increasingly abundant
3) for those of you still concerned about AGW (antrhropogenic Global Warning) each kW generated by burning natual gas produces far less CO2 than the equivalent coal fired plant
4) modern combined cycle natural gas fired generation is even more effecient than the best of the coal plants
5) the total footprint for equialent generation capacity is substantially less due to no need for fuel storage, fly ash storage, scrubbers, bag houses or the like

But given that our idiot politicians are behind the shuttering of the existing plant -- I'm asuming we'll get some proposal for a combined solar / wind farm generating as little energy on a good full day as what the old plant would have generated in an hour and been a far more reliable energy source
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:09 AM   #16
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Re: $20 million Salem Wharf -- Salem, MA

The proposed conversion to a natural gas fueled plant.
http://www.boston.com/news/local/mas...o_natural_gas/

Dominion would probably sell it for a song, given they would still be paying taxes on the facility and site, and responsible for the environmental cleanup. I am rather surprised that Dominion wouldn't want to convert it to natural gas.

This is the pipeline that was built.
http://www.duke-energy.com/news/rele...001050102.html

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Old 02-25-2012, 09:00 AM   #17
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Re: $20 million Salem Wharf -- Salem, MA

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The proposed conversion to a natural gas fueled plant.
http://www.boston.com/news/local/mas...o_natural_gas/

Dominion would probably sell it for a song, given they would still be paying taxes on the facility and site, and responsible for the environmental cleanup. I am rather surprised that Dominion wouldn't want to convert it to natural gas.

This is the pipeline that was built.
http://www.duke-energy.com/news/rele...001050102.html

Environmental cleanup of decades of coal pollution is most likely the reason. They would not be able to convert the plant into something different without full decontamination of its former use to current EPA specs for industrial/power generation zoning*. Dirty, dirty coal residue is very very expensive. I'm sure there's a mutual solution, but Dominion's going to play hardball until they can extract blood in the form of public funding paying the cost. They're playing their leverage here by posturing about pulling up stake altogether. There'll be many more chess moves by them and the state while they dance over this issue. Likely too early to predict what the solution is going to be.


(*Have a family member who spent 35 years as an engineer in the coal power industry. Worked on designing a lot of plant conversions from "dirty" to "clean"...-er coal. Environmental mitigation of the "dirty" operational history is always the most cost-prohibitive part of modernizing a plant, so the cost cutting-mad utilities go into it kicking and screaming every time despite the considerable upsides.

Incidentally, said family member urges investing in a primo home generator for when the ages-neglected transmission lines from Canada to New England start failing en masse and cause catastrophic region-wide blackouts every few years. He creeps me out when he goes on a tangent about that, because that paranoia I know in large part is informed by terrible, terrible facts he's witnessed with his own eyes. And I really don't want to know what those are.)
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:59 AM   #18
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Re: $20 million Salem Wharf -- Salem, MA

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Environmental cleanup of decades of coal pollution is most likely the reason. They would not be able to convert the plant into something different without full decontamination of its former use to current EPA specs for industrial/power generation zoning*. Dirty, dirty coal residue is very very expensive. I'm sure there's a mutual solution, but Dominion's going to play hardball until they can extract blood in the form of public funding paying the cost. They're playing their leverage here by posturing about pulling up stake altogether. There'll be many more chess moves by them and the state while they dance over this issue. Likely too early to predict what the solution is going to be.
For the majority of years that Salem operated, it was oil-fired. That doesn't necessarily make the site any cleaner. My guess is that what will happen is the land where the oil tanks and coal piles are will be capped in place. Need to build up in any event with the threat of rising sea levels. There will be no subsurface parking here.

The PEPCO generating station in Alexandria VA on the Potomac is being closed this year. (For those flying into Reagan National on the upriver approach, its the plant on the left.) A bit older than Salem, always coal-fired, and the amount in escrow for environmental cleanup of the site (including any contamination of the building itself) is about $33 million.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:49 PM   #19
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Re: $20 million Salem Wharf -- Salem, MA

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For the majority of years that Salem operated, it was oil-fired. That doesn't necessarily make the site any cleaner. My guess is that what will happen is the land where the oil tanks and coal piles are will be capped in place. Need to build up in any event with the threat of rising sea levels. There will be no subsurface parking here.

The PEPCO generating station in Alexandria VA on the Potomac is being closed this year. (For those flying into Reagan National on the upriver approach, its the plant on the left.) A bit older than Salem, always coal-fired, and the amount in escrow for environmental cleanup of the site (including any contamination of the building itself) is about $33 million.
Stell is right on target -- clean-up costs strongly depend on the end-use of a brownfield.

at the highest cost is the clean-clean sufficient for residential use -- can be prohibitive depending on the nature of the contaminants and their depth, concentration, dispersal

next most expensive is brownfield for commercial and limited human contact such as hotels

next most expensive and most common is to accomodate industrial applications -- and if the use is already permited on the site -- such as power plant -- this is reasonable

finally if you just close the plant and put up a fence you don't need to do much -- but you will incur the hatred of the neighbors

My guess is Salem Harbor morphs into Salem Harbor V2.0 possibly with a new owner -- a fifty year permit for a new utility plant on the site -- would allow clean-up technology to improve and so reduce long-term financial risks to the existing owner

As i predicted -- here's confirmation from the globe story:
http://www.boston.com/news/local/mas...o_natural_gas/

Quote:
Proposed sale of power plant involves switch to natural gas
By Steven A. Rosenberg
Globe Staff / February 5, 2012

While the deal to sell the Salem Harbor Power Station has not yet been completed, Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll likes what she’s hearing about the proposed plan to convert the coal-and-oil-fired power plant to a natural gas facility.

“We’re cautiously optimistic that it may lead to a redevelopment of that site,’’ said Driscoll.

Dominion, the Virginia-based energy company that owns the Salem power plant, confirmed last week that is negotiating to sell the site to New Jersey-based Footprint Power. Footprint has applied for a permit with ISO New England, the area’s electric grid operator, to connect to the electric grid in order to provide natural gas-generated electricity to the region in 2016....Driscoll and city consultants recently released a $200,000 state-funded study that looked at potential redevelopment of the 62-acre site. That study concluded that a natural gas energy plant could be refitted onto the property, and use just 10 acres. The study also recommended that the site would be best suited for commercial and industrial use.... On its website, Footprint lauds the potential of natural gas power plants: “Typically, using natural gas instead of coal or oil will result in a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions. This reduction can be enhanced even further by using highly efficient modern combined-cycle generating equipment.’’

Last edited by whighlander; 02-25-2012 at 01:01 PM. Reason: improved clarity and attribution of sources
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:26 PM   #20
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Re: $20 million Salem Wharf -- Salem, MA

Newport is different from Salem, I realize, but we took a Cunard cruise once that was Boston > At sea > Bermuda > At sea > Newport > Boston.

It seemed silly to stop in Newport for us and probably for 90% of the clientele (I think I could see my apartment from there ...), but maybe some people liked it. I assume Salem's not as deep a port, so no chance (or reason) for big ships (in my case, ocean liner) to stop there, but not unrealistic.
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