U.S. Transportation Secretary, Elaine L. Chao, yesterday announced $1.5 billion in discretionary grant funding to 91 projects in 49 states and the District of Columbia.
The grants, 14 of which go to port-related projects, are made through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Grants program and support road, rail, transit, and port infrastructure projects across the country.
Port-related projects will receive a total of $229.23 million, or about 15.28 percent of the $1.5 billion awarded.
“BUILD transportation grants are major investments in road, rail, transit, and port projects that serve as a down payment on this administration’s commitment to America’s infrastructure,” said Secretary Chao.
She noted at the BUILD awards ceremony, held at USDOT’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., that the number and dollar amount of port-related awards in this announcement is the greatest since BUILD and its predecessor grants program, TIGER (Transportation Infrastructure Generating Economic Recovery), was initiated.
Kurt Nagle, president and CEO of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), said that the trade association believes it’s important for America’s seaports to be key components of USDOT’s BUILD discretionary grants program because of the critical role ports play in moving goods, sustaining jobs and bolstering the nation’s economy.
He also noted that direct funding for maritime infrastructure projects, including connections to ports, will improve freight mobility which helps reduce transportation costs and makes U.S. exports more attractive to overseas buyers.
Some of 14 port-related projects approved for 2018 BUILD grants are:
- $6.56 Million – Maryland Port Authority (MD) – Seagirt Marine Terminal Berth 3 Modernization P3 Project. This project will add a second berth capable of serving 50‐foot draft ultra large container ships at the Port of Baltimore, as well as necessary landside improvements;
- $7.50 Million – Pease Development Authority, Division of Ports and Harbors (NH) – Market Street Marine Terminal Main Wharf Rehabilitation. The project will rehabilitate approximately 17,500 square feet of the Main Wharf at the Market Street Marine Terminal by replacing the deteriorating wharf access bridge and decking the area between the shoreline and the back of the Main Wharf;
- $15.41 Million – New Bedford Harbor Development Commission (MA) – North Terminal Extension Project. The project will construct approximately 800 feet of additional bulkhead, backfill of the constructed bulkhead with clean material from maintenance harbor dredging, and extend three rail spurs to increase multimodal options;
- $23.17 Million – City of Emmonak (AK) – Lower Yukon River Regional Port and Road Renovation Project. This project will renovate approximately 3.5 miles of high-use service roads and construct a permanent barge/landing craft ramp and dock/wharf.