State Maritime Office
In accordance with Sec. 13b-4 of the State Statues, “The Commissioner shall have the general powers, duties and responsibilities to coordinate and develop a comprehensive, integrated transportation policy and planning to include a long-range master plan of transportation for the state. This includes coordinating and assisting in the development and operation of a modern, safe, efficient and energy-conserving system of highway, mass transit, marine and aviation facilities and services.”
State Maritime Office
The State Maritime Office located organizationally within the Bureau of Public Transportation is responsible for maritime operations, including the State Pier in New London and the Connecticut River ferries. Additionally, the Office serves as the Governor's principal maritime policy advisor and as the liaison between the state and federal, local and private entities involved in maritime policy activities. The Office coordinates the state's maritime policy activities and encourages year-round use of water-related industries. The staff of the State Maritime Office works with the Department of Economic and Community Development to maximize the economic potential of Connecticut's ports and other maritime resources and with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection on matters related to water quality certificates for maritime infrastructure improvements such as dredging projects. The Office is responsible for working with the New England District of the Army Corps of Engineers, Region 1 of the Environmental Protection Agency, other state, local and private entities conducting research and planning activities as necessary. The State Maritime Office provides staff support to the Connecticut Maritime Commission and the Connecticut Pilot Commission. Lastly, State Maritime Office oversees other responsibilities as may be assigned by the Commissioner or the Governor.
The State Maritime Office is led by a Transportation Maritime Manager who is located in the Department of Transportation’s Newington office along with the Maritime Coordinator and the Dredge Project Coordinator. The rest of the Maritime Office staff consists of the Harbor Liaison located at the State Pier in New London and the crews of the two Connecticut River ferries; each with a crew of 5 people (3 Captains and 2 crew).
The Transportation Maritime Manager serves as the Department’s liaison to the various local port authorities, the Connecticut Maritime Coalition, the Long Island Sound Assembly, the State’s Harbor Masters and the Connecticut Harbor Management Association among others.
State Maritime Facilities
The Admiral Shear State Pier facility consists of 27 acres of property located in New London adjacent to and under the Gold Star Memorial Bridge. There are two 50,000 sq ft warehouses, an administration building and several smaller buildings on the property. There are two 1,000 ft piers; the Central Vermont Railroad (CVRR) Pier and the State Pier. The State Pier can accommodate ocean going cargo vessels with a draft not exceeding 35 ft. The CVRR Pier can handle shallow draft vessels such as fishing boats, tugs, barges, etc. The State Pier Facility is currently operated by two lessees: LOGISTEC for general cargo (mostly lumber and steel) and the Thames River Seafood Cooperative (mostly scallops). Cruise ships moor at the State Pier when making a call on New London. Recent upgrades to the Admiral Shear State Pier facility include new fencing and gates, increased lighting and increased video camera surveillance that is accessible to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to improve the maritime domain security.
The Department owns and operates two historic Connecticut River ferries; one that connects Rocky Hill to Glastonbury (CT Route 160) and another that connects Chester to Hadlyme (CT Route 148). The Rocky Hill-Glastonbury Ferry is a tug (CUMBERLAND) and barge (HOLLISTER III) operation that can carry 3-4 cars at a time.
The ferry operates from May 1st to Oct 31st 7 days a week on an annual budget is approximately $25,000; (maintenance $12K, fuel $7K and operation $6K) not including the personnel cost. Annual Revenue on average is $33,600
The Chester-Hadlyme Ferry (SELDEN III) is a typical double ended ferry boat that can carry 9 cars. The ferry operates from April 1st to Nov 30th 7 days a week on an annual budget of approximately $48K; (maintenance $18.5K, fuel $20.5K and operation $9K) not include the personnel cost. Annual revenue on average $77,732