Ports & Terminals

Port Of Beaumont Awarded $18 Million In BUILD Grants

Maritime Administrator Adm. Mark Buzby presented a check for $18 million to Beaumont, Texas, for the Port of Beaumont Multimodal Corridor Expansion and Improvement Project on November 15. The grant was part of the federal Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grants program.

The Multimodal Corridor Expansion and Improvement Project reconstructs condemned wharves 2, 3, and 4 at the Main Street Terminal 1; adds approximately 16,000 linear feet of new rail track and realigns and upgrades approximately 4,275 feet of existing rail track at the Buford Rail Yard Interchange; and replaces a deteriorated grain dock.

By reconstructing wharves originally built in the 1950s that failed in 2011 due to age-related structural deterioration, the project will bring the Main Street Terminal into a state of good repair to restore dock service to handle military, breakbulk, and project cargoes. Similarly, the project will replace the grain dock, which is past its useful life span.

By increasing capacity and efficiency for water-based and rail freight movement, the project will decrease heavy truck traffic and emissions, aligning with safety and environmental sustainability goals.

Sign up for Waterway Journal's weekly newsletter.Our weekly newsletter delivers the latest inland marine news straight to your inbox including breaking news, our exclusive columns and much more.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao had announced on November 12 that the Trump administration will invest $900 million in American infrastructure through the BUILD program.

“The administration is targeting BUILD Transportation grants to repair, rebuild, and revitalize significant infrastructure projects across the country,” she said.

BUILD Transportation grants are for investments in surface transportation infrastructure and are awarded on a competitive basis to projects with a significant impact in their local or regional communities. BUILD funding supports roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports or intermodal transportation.

“This investment in the Port of Beaumont supports America’s national and economic security,” said Buzby. “By investing in ports, we’re strengthening the U.S. maritime industry, which supports hundreds of thousands of good paying American jobs. As homeport to three of our Ready Reserve Fleet vessels, the port supports sealift, which ensures that the U.S. can protect itself and its interests around the globe.”

Selection Criteria

The BUILD program selection criteria encompassed safety, economic competitiveness, quality of life, state of good repair, environmental sustainability, innovation and partnerships with a broad range of stakeholders.

To reflect the administration’s ongoing effort to rebalance historic underinvestment in rural America, DOT has awarded 50 percent of BUILD Transportation grant funding to projects located in rural areas.  For this round of BUILD grants, the maximum grant award is $25 million, and no more than $90 million can be awarded to a single state.

U.S. Congressman Brian Babin (R-Texas-36) said, “I am pleased that Secretary Elaine Chao awarded a BUILD Grant to the Port of Beaumont for $18 million. It was a pleasure to work with both port and DOT officials to secure this extremely competitive and highly sought-after grant. These funds will be instrumental in helping the port strategically enhance our nation’s freight mobility capabilities.

“The Port of Beaumont continues to play a critical role in not only our state’s economy, but the U.S. and global economies as well. It’s a privilege to represent this vital port, and I will continue working in the U.S. Congress to ensure it always has the funding and resources necessary in order to succeed.”

In October, the port announced that for the first time in its 103-year history, more than 6.5 million tons of cargo passed through the facility’s eight terminals and operating revenues exceeded $24 million, “shattering” previously held tonnage and revenue records.