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U.S. Transportation Secretary Buttigieg Announces Over $241M in Grants for America’s Ports

TELL CITY, IN — The U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary announces the award of 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).

These grants demonstrate rapid action on commitments in the Biden-Harris Port Action Plan, which will strengthen 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,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. “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. The Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 PIDP includes priorities related to job creation, climate change, and environmental justice impacts.

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By announcing these grant awards now, the department is making good on a promise in the Biden-Harris Port Action Plan that 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.

The projects to be funded under this announcement in the Construction Digest area include:

Tell City, Indiana: Ohio River Pier Project (Awarded $1,600,000)
The project will fund construction of a 40-foot diameter pier for a crane that will be used for direct barge-to-truck unloading of cargo. The pier design will allow the crane to operate regardless of water levels. The project complements other capital development projects at the port, including a road project that will provide trucks carrying cargo from the port direct access to a nearby state highway to help speed up the movement of goods through the supply chain.
Granite City, Illinois: Granite City Harbor Extension Project (Awarded $4,140,000)
The project will fund improvements to a berth and cargo transfer location at the port’s Granite City Harbor facility. It extends the length of the harbor’s wharf by nearly 30 percent and creates a half-acre of additional working space to support cargo dock operations. The wharf extension will create a contiguous 1,200-foot-long wharf capable of handling six barges at once. Removable safety rails will be installed adjacent to the wharf. Construction includes the installation of a sheet pile wall with drainage improvements and addition of gravel-topped backfill for a new, permeable work surface. The project is the first phase of the port’s Wharf Improvement Plan.
Paducah, Kentucky: Bulk Yard Infrastructure Revitalization and Expansion Project (Awarded $3,320,000)
The project funds several related infrastructure improvements at the port. The improvements modernize the port’s material handling equipment, repair damaged facilities, and upgrade site conditions in the port’s Bulk Yard. Specific work includes: adding a concrete surface to the existing laydown area to create a 30,000-square-foot pad; replacing three cable mast radial stackers; replacing a 90-foot conveyor and reclaim hopper; utility work associated with equipment installations; rebuilding the roofs on two storage domes; replacing a truck scale; procuring three ground conveyors; purchasing four generators; and purchasing and installing a canopy that will enable the port to handle weather-sensitive cargoes.
Cleveland, Ohio: Port of Cleveland Comprehensive Planning Study Project (Awarded $3,000,000)
The project will conduct a harbor-wide and regional planning study for the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority to address its comprehensive cargo handling, environmental, and economic development needs, in addition to regional-level planning goals. The planning study will include six components: a market analysis, a terminal capacity analysis, an intermodal connection assessment, a plan for port de-carbonization, a coastal resilience plan, and a regional-level cargo capability study.
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