Stockton, rather than Richmond, ends up with scrapped Google barge project

Stockton, rather than Richmond, ends up with scrapped Google barge project

Back in February, some Richmond leaders were a tad bummed that the Port of Richmond was not considered to house the once-mysterious Google barge, a multistory ship meant to be floating technology center.

Turns out Richmond lucked out, as it was recently discovered by the The Wall Street Journal that Google has abandoned the barge project after Coast Guard officials expressed concern about the possibility of a deadly fire breaking out on a boat that would hold many people.

The Post obtained email exchanges that included this statement from Robert Gauvin, Coast Guard’s acting chief of commercial vessel compliance (we pulled the quote from the San Francisco Chronicle).

“These vessels will have over 5,000 gallons of fuel on the main deck and a substantial amount of combustible material on board,” Gauvin wrote in a March 2013 e-mail.

Back in February, the barge was not fully built and was docked at Treasure Island. It created international buzz when a reporter discovered Google was behind its construction, but it also drew negative attention when it was discovered the tech giant lacked the proper permits to dock at Treasure Island.

At the time, when Richmond considered inviting the barge, city staffers reportedly were unable to get a hold of the company.

Instead Google moved the barge to the Port of Stockton, where it “still sits idle,” the Chronicle noted.


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