Highlights Port’s Role in Job Creation and Economic Growth
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administrator David Matsuda toured the site of a planned marine cargo dock at the Port of Brownsville that will help transform this vital port into a hub for international trade. The proposed infrastructure improvements are being made possible, in part, through a $12 million TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) discretionary grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
Administrator Matsuda was joined on his tour by Congressman Filemon Vela, Port Director Eduardo A. Campirano and state officials.
“In his State of the Union address last month, President Obama proposed a Partnership to Rebuild America, which called for investment in modern ports to move our goods,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “This investment in the Port of Brownsville is a perfect example of the kind of public-private partnership President Obama called for to improve our nation’s infrastructure and will create jobs in the near term but also in the long term as this investment spurs economic activity.”
The TIGER grant will allow for the construction of a second marine cargo dock that will increase capacity and freight volume at the port, helping the facility remain competitive with domestic and foreign ports in the Gulf region. According to the Port of Brownsville, the port generates $2 billion in economic activity annually for the state of Texas, and more than 11,000 direct and related jobs that impact the local and regional economy.
“The infrastructure and freight efficiency improvements at the Port of Brownsville are just some of the steps this Administration is taking right now to grow the economy,” said Administrator Matsuda. “These modernizations are essential to the port’s ability to remain competitive and the whole country benefits for it.”
The Port of Brownsville will add matching funds for road, lighting and other improvements, all key components in its ongoing development.
During his visit, Administrator Matsuda also toured local ship recycling facilities being utilized by the Maritime Administration. These facilities are essential to the environmentally safe and timely dismantling of obsolete commercial and military vessels. The nearly 1,000 welders, riggers, hazardous material specialists and heavy equipment operators employed by these companies work on 80 percent of the ships recycled in the U.S.