Ports & Terminals

MarAd Announces $703 Million In Port Infrastructure Grants

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced more than $703 million in Port Infrastructure Development Program grants to fund 41 projects in 22 states and one territory October 28. PIDP grants are designed to improve port facilities. Recipients include a $6.1 million dock expansion in Columbus, Miss., on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, a $6.4 million grant for Helena Harbor in Arkansas that will build a new water tower and a $10 million dock expansion in Morgan City, La., that will complete a $28 million project.

The funding, made possible by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and additional congressional appropriations, will benefit coastal seaports, Great Lakes ports and inland river ports, helping improve supply chain reliability through increased port capacity and resilience, more efficient operations, reduced port emissions and new workforce opportunities. 

Morgan City Dock Expansion

Among the awardees was the Port of Morgan City, La., Western Dock Expansion-Phase 3B Project in the amount of $10 million. The project funds the expansion of the Port of Morgan City’s dock by adding 1.6 acres of concrete laydown area and building an additional 8,880-square-foot wharf-relieving platform structure to support a 440- by 40-foot wharf extension. The Phase 3B project complements Phase 3A, which was funded by the port and the state of Louisiana, and completes all phases of the port’s Western Dock Expansion project.

The $28 million project is currently in the engineering and design stage. In August 2021, the Louisiana Joint Legislative Committee on Transportation, Highways and Public Works accepted Phase 3A into the state’s Port Priority Program and agreed to provide $15 million, with the port providing a $3 million local match. The port submitted an application in July 2022 to the Port Infrastructure Development Program, requesting $10 million to complete Phase 3B and using the $15 million from the state’s Port Priority Program and $3 million local match as an $18 million nonfederal match to any federal funding.

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Bids were received on the port’s East Dock extension project on October 27 for a $5 million infrastructure improvement project, which was part of another $5.9 million Louisiana Department of Transportation Port Priority Program project at the port’s terminal facility. This eastern extension project will increase the efficiency and safety of the transloading of cargo and add another 40,000 square feet of concrete cargo laydown area. The contract is expected to be awarded at the port’s next commission meeting on November 14.

Once the East and West dock expansions are complete, the port’s marine terminal will offer 1,900 feet of finished waterfront access and a total of 30 acres available for use, with 11 of those acres on the waterfront. 

Columbus Rail Spur

The Columbus, Miss., project to be funded by the PIDP grant is dubbed Project Steel Wheel-Columbus Dock Expansion. With a value of $6,123,225, it includes design, engineering, construction and inspection of a new rail spur with approximately 10,000 linear feet of track and three transload docks that will provide direct rail access for transloading cargo between barges and railcars at the Lowndes County West Bank Port on the Tenn-Tom.

The port does not currently have direct rail access, and the new rail spur will connect the port terminal to an existing railroad line operated by Kansas City Southern.

PIDP Priorities

The Port Infrastructure Development Program supports efforts by ports and industry stakeholders to improve port and related freight infrastructure to meet the nation’s freight transportation needs and ensure our port infrastructure can meet anticipated growth in freight volumes. The program provides planning, capital funding and project management assistance to improve ports’ capacity and efficiency. The PIDP provides funding to ports in both urban and rural areas for planning and capital projects. It also includes a statutory set-aside for small ports to continue to improve and expand their capacity to move freight reliably and efficiently and support local and regional economies.

More than 60 percent of the awards will benefit ports in historically disadvantaged communities, according to MarAd. Additionally, more than $150 million in awards include a focus on electrification of port equipment to reduce emissions and improve air quality.

Select funded projects include:

• The JAXPORT EXPRESS Project ($23,518,000) Jacksonville, Fla.

The project includes five primary components: 1) installation of electrified refrigerated container stacks; 2) procurement of six hybrid-electric rubber-tired gantry cranes; 3) procurement of 16 battery-electric forklifts, 10 battery-electric yard tractors and seven Tier 4 diesel top picks; 4) installation of 15 high-power, direct current, fast-charging stations and make-ready stub-outs; and 5) development of a replaceable and scalable plan for transitioning the port and local maritime industry to zero-emission technologies.

• Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority ($27,223,711) Cleveland, Ohio.  The project consists of both development phase (planning, permitting, engineering and design) and construction activities at the Port of Cleveland. It will modernize a 144,000-square-foot warehouse (Warehouse A); expand stormwater collection and treatment infrastructure; construct a modernized maintenance and repowering facility for terminal equipment; and install electric infrastructure to meet the power requirements of ship cold ironing and electrified cargo handling equipment.
• Port of Green Bay Site Development Project ($10,134,800)  Green Bay, Wis.

The project funds the first phase of redevelopment of a former power plant site into a new port terminal. The project includes the following components: engineering services; clearing and clean-up of the existing brownfield site; construction of new dock walls and bulkheads; dredging; placement of fill behind dock wall and bulkheads; construction of stormwater collection and treatment facilities; installation of bollards and crane pads; asphalt resurfacing; new roads and utilities; truck scales; construction of an office building; and repair and extension of a rail spur with installation of three switches.

For a full list of FY22 PIDP award recipients and to learn more about the program visit www.maritime.dot.gov/PIDPgrants.