South Quay Marine Terminal is an undeveloped waterfront site along the Providence River in East Providence, Rhode Island. The site presents up to 80 acres of developable land, with an estimated 1,075 linear feet of quayside that will function as a highly flexible, high-capacity intermodal shipping facility designed to support a variety of cargo, including offshore wind components. Approximately 32 acres of the site was constructed by the Providence & Worcester Railroad in the 1970’s and 1980’s by filling the eastern shoreline of the Providence River. Upland improvements, including construction of a new bulkhead supporting high-capacity staging areas and crane pads are anticipated. Dredging will also be required to deepen the berth and accommodate anticipated vessel drafts. In 2021, the investment required for the development was estimated to be $100 million.
The State of Rhode Island Governor’s office and RI Commerce approved $35 million in state and federal stimulus grant funds for port development with the site owner RI Waterfront Enterprises, LLC.
GZA was selected by the RI Waterfront Enterprises, LLC in late 2022 to conduct a subsurface exploration program to supplement prior investigations at the site. GZA’s subsurface exploration program consisted of vibracores to characterize proposed dredge sediments and evaluate beneficial reuse alternatives, deep geotechnical borings drilled along the proposed bulkhead alignment, and Seismic Cone Penetrometer Tests (SCPTs). Geotechnical laboratory testing was also completed on select soil samples obtained from the borings. GZA prepared a geotechnical data report that complied all available subsurface information from prior investigation programs along with data obtained from the recent exploration program.
The geotechnical data report will enable the design team to advance the design of the terminal and update the estimated costs for site redevelopment. The owner, state agency officials, and Rhode Island’s federal delegation are currently applying for additional federal grants and private equity investments to advance the project into full design and construction.