Salazar, Menendez Announce $29 Million to Restore Ellis Island Seawall, Historic Structures under President's Recovery Plan

Last edited 09/29/2021

NEW YORK -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Senator Robert Menendez today announced that the National Park Service has awarded more than $29 million in contracts to repair the Ellis Island's seawall, stabilize one of the island's historic structures and upgrade the communications infrastructure at Liberty and Ellis islands.

The projects, all scheduled to start this summer, are part of President Obama's economic recovery program and will provide jobs and economic stimulation to the region's economy while restoring one of our nation's most treasured historic sites.

“The President's economic recovery plan already has saved or created more than 300,000 jobs in New Jersey and New York,” Salazar said. “These three projects funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will provide more employment opportunities to workers in the region while safeguarding the site where many of our ancestors first stepped ashore in the New World. The Recovery Act will leave a lasting legacy in America's great outdoors, while putting people back to work and strengthening our economy.”

“Ellis Island tells the story of our nation and connects millions of American families to their past, and I am pleased that we can finally begin to preserve it for future generations,” said U.S. Senator Robert Menendez. “This federal investment will not only begin to secure the seawall and maintain buildings on the island, it will create hundreds of jobs that will support the region's economy. An enhanced communication system will also protect this iconic, historic site from any threats.”

Salazar announced that the Park Service has awarded a $20.9 million contract to Phoenix Marine Co. Inc. of Sayreville, NJ. The company will make extensive repairs to Ellis Island's 6,700 foot long seawall. Small portions of the seawall have been stabilized and rehabilitated since the original construction, but the majority of the seawall shows significant deterioration. Using a variety of methods, Phoenix Marine will rehabilitate and stabilize all 5,500 feet of the deteriorated sections of seawall.

A second contract for $6.7 million has been awarded to APS Contractors of Paterson, N.J. The company will stabilize the badly deteriorated Baggage and Dormitory Building on Ellis Island as well as remove environmental contaminants. The project includes a temporary new roof and will allow the NPS to prepare the building for future use in addition to preserving it.

The third contract for $1.5 million has been awarded to Cutting Edge Group, based in Lake George, N.Y. The company will install electrical and communication infrastructure in conduit on Liberty and Ellis islands. The project will allow the NPS to better communicate securely between the islands and the mainland.

“These infrastructure improvements represent a significant investment in the future of two of America's most treasured icons,” said David Luchsinger, superintendent of Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island. “These have been priority projects for this park for some time, and we are pleased that they will now be funded through the Recovery Act.”

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed last year gave $3 billion to the Department of the Interior. Of that amount, $750 million in funding goes to the National Park Service.

More than $30 billion in Recovery funds has been made available to New York – and more than $18.6 billion has already been spent. Meanwhile, more than $10 billion in Recovery funds has been made available to New Jersey – and more than $7.4 billion has already been spent.

The ARRA funds are part of a stimulus package that is an important component of the President's plan to jumpstart the economy and put a down payment on addressing existing challenges so the country can thrive in the 21st century. Under the ARRA, Interior is making an investment in conserving America's timeless treasures – our stunning natural landscapes, our monuments to liberty, the icons of our culture and heritage – while helping American families and their communities prosper again. Interior is also focusing on renewable energy projects, the needs of American Indians, employing youth and promoting community service.

Secretary Salazar has pledged unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the Department's economic recovery projects. The public will be able to follow the progress of each project on and on Secretary Salazar has appointed a Senior Advisor for Economic Recovery, Chris Henderson, and an Interior Economic Recovery Task Force to work closely with Interior's Inspector General and ensure the recovery program is meeting the high standards for accountability, responsibility, and transparency set by President Obama.

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