U.S. Awards $61.8 Mln for Port Projects
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox today announced 40 awards totaling nearly $500 million in funding for the FY 2016 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants. Of the 585 applications submitted totaling $9.3 billion in requests, six awards totaling $61.8 million – or about 12.36 percent of the total funding – are going to commercial seaports or projects that directly aid the efficient movement of goods to and from America’s ports.
Port applications totaled 9 percent, or 53, of the total 585 submitted.
In his written statement, Sec. Foxx said, “For the eighth year running, TIGER will inject critical infrastructure dollars into communities across the country. This unique program rewards innovative thinking and collaborative solutions to difficult and sometimes dangerous transportation problems. A great TIGER program doesn’t just improve transportation; it expands economic opportunity and transforms a community.”
American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) President and CEO Kurt Nagle said that AAPA believes it’s important for America’s seaports to be key components of USDOT’s TIGER discretionary grants program because of the critical role ports play in moving goods, sustaining jobs and bolstering the nation’s economy. He noted that direct funding for maritime infrastructure projects, including connections to ports, will improve freight mobility which helps reduce transportation costs and makes U.S. exports more attractive to overseas buyers.
“TIGER grants are one of the few federal funding programs available to public port authorities to help them pay for critical infrastructure to move and handle freight more efficiently,” said Mr. Nagle. “We’re pleased that a number of port projects were included in the eighth round of TIGER grants just announced, but this year’s grants included few funds for major maritime freight gateways.” He added, “It’s important that projects from the full range of port sizes and types receive grant awards in upcoming rounds of TIGER funding.”
Since its inception as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, AAPA has been a strong supporter of the TIGER grant program. In TIGER’s first round in fiscal 2009, port-related infrastructure projects received about 8.6 percent of the original $1.5 billion allocated. In subsequent rounds, port-related infrastructure did better, garnering 14.6 percent (of the total $600 million) in the second, 12.8 percent (of the total $527 million) in the third, 13.6 percent (of the total $500 million) in the fourth,13.3 percent (of the total $474 million) in the fifth, 12.4 percent (of the total $600 million) in the sixth, and 9 percent (of the total $500 million) in the seventh.
The six projects receiving awards in TIGER VIII that directly aid the movement of goods through U.S. commercial ports are:
$17.63 Million -Port of Everett District Commission New York ‒ ExPORT Upstate New York thru Port of Albany Maritime Improvements: The grant supports maritime infrastructure improvements at the Port of Albany to enhance project cargo handling capabilities. Specifically, the project reconstructs the wharf with roll-on/roll-off capacity, replaces a warehouse, reconstructs a cargo storage area, and rebuilds a port roadway.
$10.67 Million - Gordon A. Finch Terminal Improvements ‒ Virgin Islands Port Authority: The grant will renovate and reconstruct a roll-on/roll-off dock, make waterside improvements to increase berthing capacity, construct an approximately 19,000 square foot multi-use facility for cargo storage and administrative activities, and implement security enhancements on the south side of St. Croix.
$10 Million - Port of Everett ‒ South Terminal Modernization Project, Port of Everett Washington: This grant modernizes the Port of Everett South Terminal. The project includes strengthening more than 500 feet of dock, creating a modern berth capable of handling roll-on/roll-off and intermodal cargo, and upgrading high voltage power systems. The project will also construct rail sidings to increase on-site rail car storage.
$10 Million - Rehabilitation of "H" Wharf Port Authority of Guam: The grant will reconstruct and expand a wharf built in 1948, including a new sheet pile bulkhead retaining wall and upgrades to an access road. The project also includes demolition of surface facilities and construction of additional structural components.
$7.33 Million - Portland Marine Terminal Freight and Jobs Access Project ‒ Port of Portland, Oregon: The grant constructs a grade separation over a busy marine terminal rail lead and constructs road, intersection, and multimodal improvements to increase access and connectivity between the port and the National Highway System. The project includes a realignment of the North Rivergate Blvd. and North Lombard St. intersection to better accommodate turning trucks.
$6.19 million - Little Rock Port Authority Growth Initiative - Little Rock Port Authority, Arkansas: The grant constructs improvements to the slack water harbor area, including a new dock with direct dock to-rail capability; and adds rail storage.