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    juice on tap for electric cars, trucks

    Big diesel-spewing trucks were still idling for more than the allowable three minutes along the streets of the port this week. Despite a delay, the country’s first electric truck stop in a port area is riding to the rescue.

    After groundbreaking for the innovative 14-truck electrical hook-up took place on June 11, there was a week’s delay in getting started on site preparation, according to the Port Authority Executive Director Judi Sheiffele.

    Meanwhile, the city announced this week that it is partnering with United Illuminating to bring electric car-charging stations to downtown parking garages.

    Sheiffele said the delay at the port came as the city sought to prepare the site for installation.

    Over the years, trucks had squashed the little property markers, she said. So surveyors had come find the boundary lines.

    Heavy grading equipment and bollards to keep out other vehicles were in place mid-week at the lot at the corner of Alabama and Stiles Streets.

    “Right now they are doing the initial site work, digging the trenches for the cables. Then it’ll get paved, and lighting fixtures will go up.”

    When complete, the hook ups will enable short and long-haulers to run their air conditioning, lights, and the live-in features of their cabs without burning any diesel. That’s a savings for the truck owners and the environment, big time, Sheiffele said.

    Funding for the $380,000 project comes from federal stimulus money (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) won by the city’s Office of Sustainability in partnership with the Port Authority and through state Department of Environmental Protection.

    Shieffele said she met last week with state DEP officials. They expect to come down to the port for the ribbon cutting, about five weeks away.

    By Allan Appel

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