U.S. Maritime Administration
Ports & Terminals

Small Ports Are Big Winners In Latest Round Of PIDP Grants

The U.S. Maritime Administration announced more than $653 million in grants for 41 port improvement projects under the Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP) on November 3.

Awards announced in this round of grants include more than $172.8 million for 26 small ports to continue to improve and expand their capacity to move freight reliably and efficiently, thereby boosting local and regional economies while protecting surrounding communities from air pollution.

Some of the biggest winners among inland and Gulf Coast ports were Freeport and Baytown, Texas; Fort Smith, Ark.; LaGrange, Mo.; Blencoe, Iowa; and Shawneetown, Ill. All received grants in excess of $10 million.

“These investments are part of the largest dedicated funding for ports and waterways in history–nearly $17 billion through the president’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” MarAd said in a statement.

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The PIDP improves port and related freight infrastructure to meet the nation’s freight transportation needs. The program provides planning support, capital funding and project management assistance to improve capacity and efficiency of ports in both urban and rural areas.

“Everything from the food we eat to the cars we drive to the lumber and steel used to build our homes passes through America’s ports, making them some of the most critical links in our nation’s supply chain,” U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said. “These investments will help expand capacity and speed up the movement of goods through our ports, contributing to cleaner air and more good-paying jobs as we go.” 

“Modernizing the nation’s port infrastructure is vital to the reinforcement of America’s multimodal system for transporting goods,” Maritime Administrator Ann Phillips said. “The advantages of cargo movement on water extend well beyond the maritime domain. By funding port infrastructure development, the Biden-Harris administration is ensuring that goods move reliably and in greater quantities, strengthening supply chain resiliency across all modes of transportation and addressing the negative impacts of port operations on public health and the environment that have harmed communities living near ports.”

Grant Awards

Inland and Gulf Coast port projects that received grants include:

Freeport, Texas—Velasco Terminal Sustainable Expansion Project, $15,958,380

The project includes construction of a new approximately 36,900-square-foot cross-dock warehouse, related site improvements on a roughly 10-acre site and a new terminal access truck gate. The cross-dock facility, located on port-owned land away from the congested port area, will enable cargo to be unloaded, sorted and loaded onto trucks without interfering with other terminal traffic.

Fort Smith, Ark.—River Valley Slackwater Harbor Project, $15,096,000

The project will construct a slackwater harbor off the main channel of the Arkansas River. The harbor will be approximately 1,000 feet long and 200 feet wide and have the capacity to moor and offload up to eight barges at a time. The harbor will have roughly 2,000 feet of dock frontage with a 50-foot-wide concrete deck for mobile cranes. The grant will also fund design services and project management. The new harbor enhances reliability of the port because it will be less susceptible to operational disruptions and damage resulting from fluctuations in the flow rate of the river. The project significantly increases the throughput capacity of the port. The project will also improve port resilience because the concrete deck will be constructed above the 100-year flood level to ensure year-round operation even in the face of flooding events.

Panama City, Fla.—Port Panama City East Terminal Phase II Expansion Project, $11,250,000

The project includes final design and construction of a 200,000-square-foot warehouse, along with an associated rail spur extension and terminal roadway improvements to serve the warehouse.

La Grange, Mo.—La Grange Multimodal Port Enhancement Project, $11,091,844

The project will construct a new dry bulk cargo handling facility along the Mississippi River in Lewis County, Mo. The project includes construction of a new roughly 200-foot cargo dock and approximately 1.62 miles of access road, the purchase and installation of a roughly 400-linear-foot conveyer system and related cargo-handling equipment.

Baytown, Texas—Cedar Port Infrastructure Development Project, $10,893,901

The project will fund the expansion and upgrade of the existing barge dock to include dredging the channel adjacent to the construction site and adding bulkheads to create an additional 800 feet of mooring space, resulting in six additional barge slots. The project also includes construction of a heavy haul road connecting the barge dock to the Cedar Port Industrial Park tenant area.

• Blencoe, Iowa—Port of Blencoe Infrastructure Development Project, $10,262,240

The project will establish a new port at a site along the Missouri River. The project will consist of constructing a new commodity handling facility, storage for liquid commodities, receiving and handling equipment, conveyors, elevating legs and additional infrastructure development, such as internal road construction and site leveling to accommodate use of the southern side of the property for heavy industrial use.

Shawneetown, Ill.—Shawneetown Regional Port Revitalization Project, $10,120,000

This project includes the design and construction of a roughly 1.25-mile new port access road and the development of a master plan to comprehensively prepare for future port expansions and operations.

• Bay City, Texas—West Basin Bulkhead Project, $9,922,475

The project will construct an approximately 400-foot-long bulkhead and an associated paved cargo dock and loop road for truck access. The project will also stabilize the earth behind the bulkhead.

• Milwaukee, Wis.—Agricultural Maritime Export Facility – Phase II, $9,276,352

The project will construct two grain storage silos, make electrical service upgrades and fund purchase of additional grain and cargo handling equipment to expand the capacity of the port to handle the movement of grain commodities.

Rosedale, Miss.—Port of Rosedale Multi-Modal Expansion Project, $8,742,816

The project will relocate and reconstruct a conveyor assembly dedicated to handling inbound cargoes and rehabilitate one of the conveyors the port uses to handle outbound cargoes. It will also construct a new structure so that the port’s outbound conveyors can be relocated from a deteriorating spud barge and established in a location so that inbound and outbound cargo operations can take place simultaneously. The project will also include the purchase of a new spud barge and cargo handling equipment. 

Hickman, Ky.—Conveyor Upgrade and Replacement Project, $3,295,879

The project will replace a conveyor system at the inland river port and make high-priority repairs to an existing mooring cell. Project elements include a new roughly 1,200-foot-long conveyor system, foundations for the conveyor, electrical infrastructure and control mechanisms. The project also includes environmental, engineering, construction administration, testing and inspection and procurement services.

Wabasha, Minn.—Wabasha Barge Terminal Project, $2,545,297

This project will construct a new inland river barge terminal at Upper Mississippi River Mile 760 and develop the necessary access road and utilities to support its operation. The project will improve flood and supply chain resilience by creating a new terminal on the Mississippi River that will be constructed to be more resistant to flooding. The new terminal will also provide additional capacity for the movement of agricultural commodities and other cargo on the river

Red Wing, Minn.—Bulkhead Rehabilitation and Grain Barge Mooring Replacement Project, $1,989,246

The project includes a bulkhead replacement and replacement of four existing dolphin clusters used for grain barge mooring at the Port of Red Wing’s barge terminal.