Photo: Illustration. Image Courtesy: Port of Long Beach

U.S. gov’t awards $241M in grants for ports

The U.S. government has awarded more than $241 million in discretionary grant funding for 25 projects to improve port facilities in 19 states and one territory through the Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP).  

U.S.
Illustration. Image Courtesy: Port of Long Beach

Announced by the U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary on 23 December, the grants are part of commitments outlined last month in the Biden-Harris Port Action Plan.

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The aim is to strengthen the country’s supply chains to meet demand resulting from the rapid economic recovery over the past year, and help address inflationary pressures. 

“U.S. maritime ports play a critical role in our supply chains,” Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, said.

“These investments in our nation’s ports will help support American jobs, efficient and resilient operations, and faster delivery of goods to the American people.” 

The PIDP is in its third year and has already awarded $492 million for 32 projects of regional and national economic significance within its first two years. The program supports efforts by ports and industry stakeholders to improve facility and freight infrastructure to ensure the nation’s freight transportation needs, present and future, are met. It provides planning, operational and capital financing, and project management assistance to improve ports’ capacity and efficiency. 

 The projects that were awarded grants include coastal seaports, Great Lakes ports, and inland river ports.

“These investments will support the shift to cleaner transportation, which will create more economic activity and good paying jobs,” Lucinda Lessley, Acting Maritime Administrator, commented.

Some of the projects to be funded under this announcement include: 

  • Long Beach, California — America’s Green Gateway Phase 1: Pier B Early Rail Enhancements Project (awarded: $52,300,000)

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  • Houston, Texas — Bayport Container Terminal Expansion (awarded: $18,267,600)
  • Brunswick, Georgia — Colonel’s Island Berth #4 (awarded: $14,647,284)
  • Bay St. Louis, Mississippi — Port Bienville Rail Storage Yard (awarded: $4,140,000)
  • Tell City, Indiana — Ohio River Pier Project (awarded: $1,600,000)
  • Delcambre, Louisiana — Port Resiliency Improvements (awarded: $2,000,000)
  • Alpena, Michigan Improving Vessel Access for Sustained Viability (awarded: $3,751,623)
  • Oakland, California Powering the Future Project (awarded: $5,200,000)
  • Portsmouth, Virginia Portsmouth Marine Terminal Offshore Wind Development (awarded: $20,000,000)
  • Tacoma, Washington Off-Dock Container Support Facility (awarded: $15,730,000)

In November 2012, the Biden-Harris Administration promised that it will take actions to address supply chain disruptions by helping to increase federal flexibilities for port grants; accelerate port infrastructure grant awards; initiate new construction projects for coastal navigation, inland waterways, and land ports of entry; and launch the first round of expanded port infrastructure grants funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.  

This law aims to rebuild America’s roads, bridges, and rails; upgrade and expand public transit; modernize the nation’s ports and airports; improve safety; tackle the climate crisis; advance environmental justice, and invest in communities that have too often been left behind.

Going forward, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law would provide $450 million annually in funding for the PIDP program for fiscal years 2022 through 2026, or a total of $2.25 billion.