Possible Port of Salisbury Expansion - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Possible Port of Salisbury Expansion

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SALISBURY, Md. - Plans are being tossed around in Wicomico County about the potential expansion of the Port of Salisbury.  Leaders and economists believe the project could bring new businesses, jobs and opportunities to the area.

The Port of Salisbury is the second busiest port in Maryland, behind Baltimore.  City leaders say there is room to grow.

"This project is looking at expanding the available space for the port for different uses than its currently uses and it is those uses that will create the jobs," said Dr. Memo Diriker, the Director of BEACON at Salisbury University.

Diriker recently worked with Wicomico County drafting a grant application.  The grant money would go towards the funding of a comprehensive plan to expand the Port of Salisbury.  Along with the expansion, an industrial park would be constructed and some traffic modifications would be made around the port. It would be the creation of a transportation hub to bring more businesses to the are looking to take advantage of the Wicomico River.

"We already have bits and pieces of those in patch-work fashion but to cohesively bring it all together and establish the Wicomico County port area as a hub, it creates definite economic activity and economic potential," said Diriker.

The comprehensive plan is part one of this potential project and that plan could take up to a year to complete so there is no timetable of if or when this project could take place.  But local leaders say the idea has potential.

"We want to be able to have bigger barges come through for Perdue.  Putting it a little further up the river is great.  Like I said, as long as it's the port of Salisbury, as long as it's inside the city limits, and as long as it saves Perdue, I'm for it," said Mayor Jim Ireton of Salisbury.

If the county wants to move forward with the project after the plan is complete, there are federal grants the county can compete for that will help fund any potential port of Salisbury projects.
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