Ports & Terminals

South Louisiana, Houston Included In MarAd Port Grants

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MarAd) gave ports across the nation a generous Valentine’s Day gift valued at more than $280 million when it announced grants for more than a dozen U.S. ports February 14.

In all, 15 ports received grants from MarAd’s Port Infrastructure Development Program, with six of those located in Opportunity Zones aimed at revitalizing economically-depressed communities.

“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 a statement.

The Port Infrastructure Development Program is aimed at improving facility and freight infrastructure through capital financing and project management assistance. The goal is to boost port capacity and efficiency.

“We are very excited to have the opportunity to work more directly with America’s ports to enhance their facilities,” Maritime Administrator Mark Buzby said in a statement. “The grants awarded will ensure that these facilities are operating at their highest, most productive capacities.”

Among the grant recipients were a quartet of Gulf Coast ports. The Port of South Louisiana was awarded $13.4 million for its Globalplex multi-modal connections project. Globalplex is the port’s public terminal, located in LaPlace, La. According to the port, the grant funds will pave the way for a new “heavy capacity dock access bridge, an access road, a rail spur and a dry storage area with conveyors to move bulk material.”

“These grant funds will go a long way to assist the port with many very important multi-modal projects,” said Port of South Louisiana Executive Director Paul Aucoin. “We want to thank senators [Bill] Cassidy and [John] Kennedy, and Congressmen [Steve] Scalise, [Garret] Graves and [Cedric] Richmond for their support and assistance. The port also appreciates the confidence Secretary Elaine Chao has in the port in awarded us this multi-modal grant.”

Aucoin said the MarAd grant will boost the movement and storage of bulk breakbulk cargo by rail, water and truck, while also complementing other project currently underway. The port is already at work reinforcing docks, adding mobile harbor cranes and supporting outside industrial development through dry storage and transloading capacity.

Cassidy praised the grant and the impact it will have on the efficient movement of cargo within the Port of South Louisiana.

“Louisiana’s ports are vital to ensure a thriving economy,” Cassidy said. “This grant provides improvements to the Port of South Louisiana that will foster economic growth and vessel efficiency on the Mississippi River.”

Buzby, Cassidy, Kennedy and Graves were all set to officially present the $13.4 million grant to the Port of South Louisiana in an event scheduled for February 21 at the Globalplex Intermodal Terminal.

Other Gulf Coast region ports receiving MarAd grants include the Port of Gulfport, the Port of Houston and the Port of Corpus Christi. Gulfport was awarded $15.7 million to improve roadways connecting to the port’s entrance. The Port of Houston will receive $21.8 million for its Bayport Terminal Intermodal Expansion project, which will develop 1,000 linear feet of green space into a wharf. The project will include installation of crane rail to boost container handling capacity. Corpus Christi will receive $17.6 million to refurbish docks at the port’s Avery Point oil terminal, which will double the handling of one of the terminal’s oil docks.

Remaining grant recipients are as follows:

• Port of Alaska in Anchorage will receive $20 million to support construction of a new petroleum and cement marine terminal.

• Port of Long Beach will receive $14.5 million to improve capacity at the California port’s Terminal Island Wye rail junction.

• The Port of Los Angeles will receive more than $18.1 million to expand and modernize the port’s Fenix Container Terminal intermodal rail yard.

• Florida’s Port Canaveral will receive $14.1 million to rehab and modernize its cargo berth facility.

• PortMiami was awarded close to $44 million to upgrade drainage and improve the resiliency at its cold chain processing facility.

• The Port of Savannah, Ga., will receive $34.6 million to realign its easternmost container dock to allow berthing of 14,000-TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) container ships.

• The Port of Charleston, S.C., was awarded close to $20 million to build an underwater retaining wall and deepen three berths at the Wando Welch Terminal. The grant complements the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project to deepen the Charleston navigation channel.

• The Duluth, Minn., Port Logistics Hub was awarded $10.5 million to fund construction of a warehouse with rail service and rehab more than 1,700 linear feet of failing wharf walls. MarAd said this project will include new on-dock rail service and the construction of a roll-on/roll-off deck.

• The Port of Cleveland, Ohio, was awarded $11 million for modernization and rehabilitation of two docks.

• The Port of Toledo, Ohio, was awarded $16 million to rebuild and upgrade its Midwest Terminals Facility 1 and to develop a liquid transloading facility.

• The Port of Milwaukee, Wis., was awarded close to $15.9 million to develop an agriculture marine export facility.

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