Kentucky Ports Receive $500,000 In Grants

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced $500,000 in grants to four Kentucky riverports on July 5.

The grants are for infrastructure improvements and equipment upgrades.

“An efficient transportation system in all its modes – highway, air, rail and water – is essential to our economy and standard of living,” Beshear said. “Our Kentucky riverports play a unique role in that system. We’re pleased to be able to support these strategic investments.”

The funding, which was legislatively appropriated and must be locally matched, was awarded for six separate projects at four riverports. Kentucky Transportation Secretary Jim Gray approved the awards at the recommendation of the Kentucky Water Transportation Advisory Board, which reviewed the applications.

“The grants will help these riverports meet a range of needs for both operations and capacity,” Gray said.

Brian Wright, Owensboro Riverport Authority president, spoke about the importance of the grant program.

“State investment is beyond critical to the preservation of all public ports across the commonwealth to provide efficient and cost-effective multimodal access to our thriving Industries,” he said. “The Owensboro Riverport Authority serves the growing aluminum industry in Kentucky by handling over 500,000 short tons of aluminum annually. These state funds will provide a portion of the necessary dollars needed to replace aging handling equipment utilized daily to promote our mission of multimodal optimization across the state. Riverports are essential to Kentucky’s economic development success.”

Grants included:

• $184,061 to the Eddyville Riverport & Industrial Development Authority toward the purchase of a CAT 330 excavator to provide redundancy for material loading/unloading and to help expand operations;

• $115,859.60 to the Owensboro Riverport Authority toward the purchase of a 25,000-pound forklift to handle aluminum and steel loads;

• $31,399.83 to the Owensboro Riverport Authority toward the purchase of a new and more efficient compact track loader for handling material;

• $16,159.57 to the Owensboro Riverport Authority toward a new 10,000-pound forklift for unloading aluminum and steel from barges and railcars;

• $122,000 to the Henderson County Riverport Authority toward a new truck scale and widening and adding access drives to allow more efficient truck movement; and

• $30,510 to the Paducah-McCracken County Riverport Authority toward the replacement of two deteriorated entranceways and aprons to provide increased access to storage yards.

In June 2022, Beshear also announced $500,000 in grants to four riverports for eight projects.