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

SUPERIOR, WI — 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.

The projects to be funded under this announcement in the Western Builder area include:

Superior, Wisconsin: Infrastructure Improvements Project (Awarded $8,368,000)
The project will fund repairs to an unutilized facility in the Port of Superior. The project will fund construction of a new sheet pile retaining wall, placement of tremie concrete behind the new wall to create a load-bearing surface, and installation of a concrete cap atop the new wall. Improvements also include rail and road work, a stormwater management system, utilities, a shop and office building, and dredging.
Saint Paul, Minnesota: Barge Terminal 2 Dock Wall Rehabilitation (Awarded $4,140,000)
The project funds replacement of the dock wall at the port’s Barge Terminal 2 (BT2). The dock wall at BT2 is 1,316 feet long and was originally constructed in 1964. Engineers hired by the port have completed several inspections of the dock wall and documented numerous structural deficiencies, including perforations in the existing steel sheet pile wall, a failing tie-back system, and sinkholes behind the dock wall. The project will install a new steel sheet pile wall directly in front of the existing dock wall and a new tie-back system. Improvements will also include filling the voids created by the holes in the existing wall.
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