Final year for money-losing Upper Harbor Terminal

  • Article by: Maya Rao , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 6, 2014 - 6:54 AM

The 48-acre city-owned site could become parkland and offices.

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brutas14Feb. 6, 1412:58 AM

I am surprised that the article states that salt is no longer unloaded at the terminal, as I watched from the Riverside power plant across the river, barges of salt being unloaded October, 2013.

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kjffkjffFeb. 6, 14 7:13 AM

Another rationale for the development and operation of the port back in the 1970s was the support of the region's manufacturing and agricultural economy. The argument was that by the offering an alternative mode of transportation - barges - railroad and trucking rates would be held down. I'm not aware of any economic studies supporting that rationale but that was the argument presented to us on the City Council by city staff and by business interests. And it made economic sense. Eventually it becomes a question of at what cost and is there a better use for that land.

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supervon2Feb. 6, 14 7:25 AM

Government investment is always supposed to save the taxpayers money. Why is it always the opposite in everything they do. Hint: Pulltabs, MNsure, etc, etc.

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johnmcfaddenFeb. 6, 14 7:59 AM

how well would you run your business and how aggressively would you run it if you knew that someone else would always be there to make sure you did not loose money. This is a micro example of what's wrong with Fanny mae and Freddy Mac. It's never a good thing to have government mucking around in these sorts of businesses. Much better to have the city demand salt and goods and then let out for bids to companies to compete for

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noggnbloggnFeb. 6, 14 8:14 AM

Government at work -- doing 'make work', actually. A changing vision of how to use the river front is what is responsible, environmentalism, public policy. The need for coal goes away when power plants switch to natural gas (raising the cost of heating homes as demand impacts supply). Denying the permits to build the huge scrap metal recycler --the German-built 'Inconderator' which would have been so noisy, thus dooming the recycling industry. Buying industrial sites, like Scherer Bros. Lumber which had operated across the river since the Great Depression, slated to expand the Boom Island Park into more parkland along the river. The story isn't so much about a changing economy, as it is about changing public policy through environment activism. Developers will be greasing palms to bid on new housing projects, once the riverfront has been transformed into a green parkway. As far as the locks go, the invasive species argument is the excuse for stopping river traffic -- the locks have existed since the 1960s, and recreational boaters continue to traverse MN by highway. Closing the locks means they never should have been built in the first place -- especially when the Stone Ach Bridge (which they intersect) used to carry James J Hill's Great Northern Railroad. This story should be about the current generation's failure to understand Capitalism and to be successful, while people like Hill largely put the Twin Cities on the map, and built America. We are coasting on the coattails of the past, have had the batton handed to us, and now don't really know what to do with it. This is a fraction of the larger story of why we are failing as a country, and now look to government for all the answers. Yes, the river will be prettier, but we don't understand the bigger picture very well, placing our future at risk, in my opinion. The politicians of the past had a vision, the current ones do not share it, and the taxpayer pays twice for their failure.

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patasticFeb. 6, 14 9:36 AM

“We need to think about how the stuff gets where it gets,” said Minneapolis city planner Haila Maze. No, you don't. The market will take care of that all on it's own. If roads are not efficient, someone will figure a way to do it cheaper. They don't need you to do that for them. If it's cheaper, they'll just do it (unless they can get politicians to pay for it with other people's money). It might be funtual friends, but it is not a truly needed, especially by a city planner.

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bubzkiFeb. 6, 1410:32 AM

I really hope this leads to the extension of the W River Parkway trail farther north. It ends very prematurely south of Lowry and just loops back. We're wasting so much natural beauty by having this blocked off.

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noggnbloggnFeb. 6, 1411:10 AM

Bubzki: that is the plan. How far would you like it to go? In the early days, both East and West River Roads were stage coach lines that went as far as Champlin (Champlains Landing) and Anoka on either side of the Mississippi. There was a ferry crossing there, which stretched a line across the Mississippi river at the confluence of the Rum River, where an early Indian trading post was located on the point where the current sewage treatment plant is built. It is still called the Ferry Street bridge to this day. Perhaps government will condemn all the land on either side of the Mississippi river and make it a park. Perhaps they will extend it all the way to Itasca. Cool.

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bomborFeb. 6, 1411:17 AM

No, patastic, the market does not always take care of all that on its own. Letting the market take care of things is what gets over a million people in West Virginia having to shower with bottled water.

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acidradioFeb. 6, 1411:19 AM

What do we still make in the city of Minneapolis (and north burbs) that requires something the size of a barge to haul anymore? I wish we DID make those products. But it seems to me that in this area we've shifted to a different kind of economy in which the final products are more value-added and can fit on a truck... or smaller!

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