Ports & Terminals

Kentucky Governor Announces Riverport Grant Awards

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced a half million dollars in grant funding July 15 for critical repairs and equipment replacement at Kentucky riverports.

The grants must be matched by the port authorities operating the riverports in Paducah, Eddyville, Hickman, Owensboro and Louisville.

“From roads to riverports, quality transportation systems are vital to support a thriving economy,” Beshear said. “This investment in our riverports will improve operations to move cargo more efficiently and safely. The awards were recommended by the Kentucky Water Transportation Advisory Board and administered by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

The Owensboro Riverport Authority will receive $34,807 toward the purchase of a compact track loader for daily handling of bulk products. The loader will be used on a new spud barge for marine construction activities and will be one of three loaders used for daily operations.

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The Eddyville Riverport and Industrial Development Authority will receive $126,500 toward repair of the main loading dock to improve safety and prevent issues caused by steel corrosion. The grant will fund replacing eroded dock tieback rods, installing new whalers and steel plates on the dock, grouting to fill voids and installation of new precast concrete fenders.

The Hickman-Fulton County Riverport Authority will receive $136,265 to replace a 40-year-old front-end loader with a new model used to load and unload bulk materials between trucks and barges for essential material-handling operations.

The Louisville-Jefferson County Riverport Authority will receive $178,803 toward construction of a 1,775-foot rail line to bypass an outer rail loop in a high-traffic area. The new rail infrastructure is designed to improve safety and allow rail traffic to move more efficiently both into and out of the port.

The Paducah-McCracken County Riverport Authority will receive $23,625 to purchase a clamshell bucket used to transfer bulk products. It will replace one of two aging clamshell buckets that require frequent maintenance. The new equipment is designed to enhance reliability, eliminate lost time due to repairs and improve safety for the machine operator.

The 2021 Kentucky General Assembly appropriated the grant funding, and riverports applied to the Water Transportation Advisory Board for the grants. The board includes seven industry members appointed to serve a four-year term by the governor to advise on matters related to water transportation.

Kentucky Transportation Secretary Jim Gray said the commonwealth has a comprehensive transportation system comprising multiple modes.

“Kentucky’s riverports play a vital role in the flow of freight across our waterways,” he said. “These funds will go a long way to upgrade daily operations and spur economic opportunities.”