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US announces funding for port-related projects

The funds have been awarded under the Better Utilising Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Grants programme. That supports road, rail, transit, and port infrastructure projects across the US

One of the few federal funding programmes that is available to public port authorities to help them pay for the critical infrastructure necessary for moving and handling freight more efficiently

US TRANSPORTATION Secretary Elaine Chao has announced $1.5bn in grant funding to 91 projects across the country, 14 of them port-related with a value of $229.23m, or about 15.3% of the total.

The funds have been awarded under the Better Utilising Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Grants programme, which supports transport infrastructure projects.

“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,” Ms Chao said.

Kurt Nagle, president and chief executive of the American Association of Port Authorities, lauded the BUILD grants, calling them “one of the few federal funding programmes available to public port authorities to help them pay for critical infrastructure to move and handle freight more efficiently”.

Mr Nagle said: “We’re pleased that port-related projects garnered nearly a sixth of the total amount in this round of BUILD. The $229m-plus in port-related awards will help leverage nearly $412m in total project costs.”

The 14 port-related projects range in funding from about $6m to $25m. The funds were awarded to specific agencies or locales and include:

• $25m  — South Carolina Department of Transportation (South Carolina)  — The Upstate Express Corridor Capacity Expansion Project will make freight rail infrastructure improvements in South Carolina. It will expand the Inland Port Greer (IPG), extend the IPG lead track, and lengthen the Carlisle Siding to approximately 15,100 ft. The IPG expansion includes acquiring additional equipment for the handling, loading, and unloading of containers and the paving of up to 40 acres.

• $23.17m  — City of Emmonak (Alaska)  — The Lower Yukon River Regional Port and Road Renovation Project will renovate approximately 3.5 miles of high-use service roads and construct a permanent barge/landing craft ramp and dock/wharf.

• $22.25m  — Delaware River and Bay Authority (Delaware/New Jersey)  — The Delaware Memorial Bridges Ship Collision Protection System project will see installation of eight 80‐foot diameter sheet pile cells at the bases of the Delaware Memorial Bridges, which connect Delaware and New Jersey. The system will help protect the structural integrity of the bridges in the event of a ship collision.

• $20.7m  — City of Sault Ste. Marie (Michigan)  — The Carbide Dock Port Rehabilitation and Truck Route Reconstruction project will rehabilitate the Carbide Dock Port and reconstruct a portion of the connecting truck route on Easterday Avenue from Interstate 75 to Barbeau Street. The project also includes intersection improvements and water/sewer replacement.

• $20m  — Port of Port Arthur (Texas)  — The Berth 6 Multimodal On-Dock Rail Project will extend the Port Arthur Berth 5 wharf approximately 1,000 feet to create Berth 6 as a crane‐capable pile‐supported wharf, including a tied‐back bulkhead and a cargo‐handling laydown area.

• $20m  — Port of Coos Bay (Oregon)  — The Coos Bay Rail Line Bridge Rehabilitation Project will improve or replace approximately 15 bridges along the Coos Bay Rail Line to enhance capacity, meet Bridge Safety Standard requirements as mandated by the Federal Railroad Administration, and extend the useful life of the structures.

• $19.41m — Port of Morrow (Oregon)  — The Columbia River Barge Terminal Rail Access project will establish rail‐to‐barge trans-loading capability within the Port of Morrow’s barge terminals on the Columbia River in eastern Oregon.

• $16.42m  — Greater Lafourche Port Commission (Louisiana)  — The Port Fourchon to Airport Connector project will see construction of a new three‐lane vertical lift span bridge over Bayou Lafourche and a new two‐lane, 2,000 ft connector road extending from LA 1 to LA 3235.

• $15.5m  — Virginia Port Authority (Virginia)  — The Virginia Inland Port Terminal Optimization & Grade Separation project will optimize the traffic flow inside the port gate by adding three long loading tracks, lengthening existing loading tracks, and acquiring two hybrid straddle carriers. Outside the gate, this project will construct a new highway bridge grade separation.

• $15.41m  — New Bedford Harbor Development Commission (Massachusetts) — The North Terminal Extension 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.

• $11.52m  — Owensboro Riverport Authority (Kentucky)  — The KY 331/Industrial Drive and Rinaldo Road project will widen and improve approximately 2.6 miles of KY 331/Industrial Drive and Rinal Road from 2nd Street into the Owensboro Riverport Intermodal Terminal and will reconstruct the CSX at‐grade railroad crossing.

• $7.5m  — Pease Development Authority, Division of Ports and Harbors (New Hampshire)  — The Market Street Marine Terminal Main Wharf Rehabilitation project will rehabilitate approximately 17,500 square feet of the Main Wharf at the Market Street Marine Terminal. It will replace the deteriorating wharf access bridge and decking in the area between the shoreline and the back of the Main Wharf.

• $6.56m  — Maryland Port Authority (Maryland)  — The Seagirt Marine Terminal Berth 3 Modernisation P3 Project will add a second berth capable of serving 50 ft draft ultra large container ships at the Port of Baltimore, as well as necessary landside improvements.

• $5.79m  — Muskogee City‐County Port Authority (Oklahoma)  — The Port of Muskogee Rail Access project will construct rail and road access improvements at the Port of Muskogee, including track upgrades, expansion and realignment to meet current Class I railroad safety standards; State Highway 16 highway‐rail grade crossing modernisation; and approximately 9,700 ft of additional track to expand the capacity of the existing marshalling yard.

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