USDOT Dedicates $700 Million for Port Improvement Projects

Port of Camden Ships dock at a marine terminal at the Port of Camden in New Jersey, which will receive $25 million for its access and infrastructure resiliency project. (South Jersey Port Corp.)

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Additional funding for the country’s ports was recently announced as part of the Biden administration’s efforts to facilitate the movement of freight along key supply chains.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is providing more than $700 million to nearly four dozen ports for improvement projects. The funding, approved in the $1 trillion infrastructure law, will target coastal seaports, Great Lakes ports and inland river ports.

Agencies will be tasked with prioritizing port capacity and resilience, as well as efficiency, emissions reduction and workforce. “So many of the goods we all count on, from appliances to furniture to clothes, move through our nation’s ports on their way to us,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Oct. 28.



Pete Buttigieg

Buttigieg

“Using funds from President [Joe] Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law, this year we’re awarding record levels of funding to improve our port infrastructure, strengthen our supply chains, and help cut costs for American families,” said the secretary, co-chairman of the White House’s supply chain disruptions task force.

The Maritime Administration’s port infrastructure development program oversees the funds. Maritime Administrator Ann Phillips explained, “President Biden’s commitment to modernizing our infrastructure — from the beginning of his administration — has resulted in an unprecedented investment in all segments of our port infrastructure to enable us to move goods more quickly, strengthen supply chain resiliency, and reduce the climate impacts of port operations themselves.”

Funding recipients include the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority in Ohio. The project will receive more than $27 million for upgrades to the Port of Cleveland. Specifically, funds will be used to modernize a 144,000-square-foot warehouse. Port of Camden in New Jersey will receive $25 million for its access and infrastructure resiliency project. Funds will be used to upgrade a functionally obsolete and structurally deficient truck route.

The Port of Green Bay in Wisconsin will receive about $10 million for the first phase of a new port terminal. According to U.S. DOT, the project entails: “Engineering services, clearing and clean-up of the existing brownfield site, construction of new dock walls and bulkheads, dredging, placement of fill behind dock wall and bulkheads, construction of stormwater collection and treatment facilities, installation of bollards and crane pads, asphalt resurfacing, new roads and utilities, truck scales, construction of an office building, and repair and extension of a rail spur with installation of three switches.”

Recently, the Maritime Administration awarded nearly $39 million in grants to a dozen marine highway projects. Recipients of the grants included the Puerto Rico Maritime Transportation Service Project, the New York Harbor Container and Trailer-on-Barge Service and the Guam Marine Transportation Enhancement Initiative. The $5.7 million grant for Guam is meant to assist with the expansion of the Port Authority of Guam’s fleet of specialized container yard equipment.

Biden administration officials continue to point to the potential benefits resulting from supply chain-centric provisions approved in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The IIJA was enacted Nov. 15. “If you can’t get the material needed to build a product you’re building — whether it’s an automobile or whatever it is — it makes it difficult to be able to move, and that’s called the supply chain,” Biden said earlier this year. “That’s why I’ve been focused on ports.”

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