Ports & Terminals

Ohio To Release $23 Million In State Grant Funding As Part Of MAP

Ohio public port authorities abutting the Ohio River and Lake Erie may apply for $23 million in available grant funding soon on behalf of private companies. 

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will solicit projects for the $11 million in grant funding the state legislature allocated in fiscal year 2022, along with an additional $12 million allocated in 2023 at the same time as part of its Ohio Maritime Assistance Program (MAP), said Mark Locker, ODOT’s project manager for freight, maritime and logistics. ODOT expects to release its request for applications August 16. Applicants will then have 60 days to submit eligible projects, with the final submission deadline of 4 p.m. October 15. No late applications are accepted. 

The Ohio legislature created MAP in 2019 to increase cargo handling on Ohio’s waterways. Ohio public port authorities apply for the funding on behalf of private terminals and serve as a pass-through for the funds. The terminals must be located within economic opportunity zones and inside the port’s boundaries. More than $22 million in funding was awarded in the first two funding releases. 

The request for applications will be published on ODOT’s website within the Maritime Assistance Program section once the site is updated in August, Locker said. It calls for construction-ready projects that can be bid out by the Ohio Public Port Authority within 180 days of an award letter from ODOT. Construction-ready projects will likely have completed construction plans, approved environmental and Army Corps of Engineer permits and acquired real estate, he said. 

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The final request for applications website, once updated, will include an electronic application form, a certification document to be printed, signed and attached to the application and business justification guidance. Also included will be selection criteria and an example of an agreement post-award. Any questions should be emailed to statewide.planning@dot.ohio.gov, and answers to all questions will be posted on the website. Final award application summaries will also be published on the website after the grant recipients are announced.  

Penny Traina, CEO and executive director of the Columbiana County Port Authority, noted that the port authority planned to contact all the private terminals in the county to solicit projects to submit to the state.  

“We are very excited that the state has approved another round of funding and very grateful for the recognition of the importance of Ohio’s waterway systems,” she said.