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

ALPENA, MI — 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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“These investments will support the shift to cleaner transportation, which will create more economic activity and good paying jobs,” said the Acting Maritime Administrator Lucinda Lessley. “The Port Infrastructure Development Program is an important part of building back better for our ports, our communities, our economy, and our people.”

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.

This Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will 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. It will drive the creation of good-paying union jobs and grow the economy sustainably and equitably so that everyone gets ahead for decades to come.

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. This is roughly the same amount of federal funding provided to ports under DOT-administered grant programs since the DOT began providing funding to ports in 2009.

Ports provide high quality union jobs for Americans and are key to a nation that heavily relies on its maritime services. By providing the funding to support the improvement of this critical infrastructure, MARAD and the department are ensuring these services will succeed during the nation’s ongoing economic recovery.

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All PIDP grant award recipients must apply, comply with, and implement all provisions of the Buy American Act.

The projects to be funded under this announcement in the Michigan Contractor & Builder area include:

Alpena, Michigan: Improving Vessel Access for Sustained Viability (Awarded $3,751,623)
The City of Alpena is partnering with Lafarge Alpena to upgrade and modernize Lafarge Alpena’s port and landside shipping facilities to meet the increasing demand for the plant’s construction products. Project improvements include berth dredging to increase the water depths within the port basin to satisfy larger vessels, stone dock demolition to increase the overall area for vessels to access the site, new mooring dolphins, the addition of a roof for a storage building, demolition of a storage building, and maritime security upgrades.
Marquette, Michigan: Protecting Critical Infrastructure and Improving Efficiency (Awarded $1,617,750)
The project will improve critical port infrastructure, dredge encroaching sediment to protect port infrastructure, and deposit dredge materials on shore to enhance coastal restoration and protect road infrastructure at the Port of Marquette.
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