US ports land more than $280 million in federal grants

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) has awarded more than $280 million in discretionary grant funding through the new Port Infrastructure Development Program to improve port facilities at or near coastal seaports.

“Ports are gateways to the world and port infrastructure investments will improve the regional economy, increase productivity and economic competitiveness and create more jobs,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in the announcement last week.

Of the 15 projects awarded grants, six are located in Opportunity Zones, which were created to revitalize economically distressed communities using private investments, according to MARAD.

PortMiami, located in an Opportunity Zone, was awarded $43,928,393 to upgrade drainage and resilience methods, reorganize cargo containers, and support construction of a state-of-the-art fumigation and cold chain processing facility.

The Port of Savannah was awarded $34.6 million to demolish, rebuild and deepen the Georgia port’s easternmost berth to accommodate 14,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) container ships.

The Port of Houston received $21,840,000 to develop 1,000 linear feet of green space into a wharf at the Bayport Terminal. Development includes installation of crane rail to facilitate the ability of existing cranes to operate on the newly developed wharf space. The project will enable the terminal to handle 2.4 million TEUs annually.

The Port of Alaska modernization program in Anchorage was awarded $20 million to support the construction of a petroleum and cement marine terminal. The terminal, a key component of the port modernization program, will support the transfer of refined petroleum and cement from bulk carriers to onshore pipelines and storage facilities.

The Port of Charleston was awarded $19,986,000 to construct an underwater retaining wall and deepen three berths at the Wando Welch Terminal to enable the South Carolina facility to handle larger container ships.

The Port of Los Angeles was awarded $18,184,743 for the Fenix Container Terminal intermodal rail yard expansion and modernization project, which will add 11,500 linear feet of track and improve the terminal’s rail capacity by 10%, while also creating utility corridors and drainage systems that will minimize the impact of storm-related damage.

The Port of Corpus Christi, located in an Opportunity Zone in Texas, was awarded $17.6 million to fund the first phase of a project to refurbish docks at the Avery Point terminal that is used by a number of customers to transload petroleum products. 

The Port of Toledo, located in an Opportunity Zone in Ohio, received $16 million to reconstruct and upgrade the dock at the Midwest Terminals Facility 1 as well as develop a liquid transloading facility.

The Port of Milwaukee was awarded $15,893,543 to develop an underutilized parcel of land into an export facility for agricultural commodities.

The Port of Gulfport in Harrison County, Mississippi, an Opportunity Zone, was awarded $15.76 million to improve the roadways leading to and from the entrance to the port, which serves all freight and military cargo.

The Port of Long Beach was awarded $14.5 million to improve capacity at the Terminal Island Wye rail junction in California by constructing and replacing rails and siding that will improve the efficiency of rail operations.

Port Canaveral received $14.1 million to complete several projects as part of its cargo berth rehabilitation and modernization program at the Florida port.

The Port of South Louisiana in LaPlace was awarded $13,410,662 to add multimodal connections and enhance the operational efficiency of Globalplex, a public port with a 335-acre maritime industrial park.

The Port of Cleveland, located in an Opportunity Zone, was awarded $11 million to rehabilitate two of the port’s main docks and thus promote regional exports and improve operations and safety activities.

The Port of Duluth-Superior, located in an Opportunity Zone in Minnesota, was awarded $10.5 million to fund construction of a rail-served warehouse and rehabilitate more than 1,700 linear feet of failing wharf walls at multiple berths inside the port.