New Articles

America’s Ports Surge Ahead: $5 Trillion In Funding Is Earmarked For Groundbreaking Infrastructure Overhaul

global trade port

America’s Ports Surge Ahead: $5 Trillion In Funding Is Earmarked For Groundbreaking Infrastructure Overhaul

America’s coast hosts more than 300 ports, which are vital to the U.S. economy. Annually, the ports contribute more than $5 trillion to the country’s GDP. Although port traffic was disrupted significantly by COVID-19, port traffic is greater now than ever. 

Read also: Port of Lake Charles Surges into Top 10 US Ports for Cargo Handling

Before the pandemic, port officials rushed to dredge deeper channels to accommodate new mega-ships. At the same time, ports were also dealing with aging infrastructure and a critical need for upgraded infrastructure, which would allow for handling higher volumes of cargo. Over the last decade, the size of the mega ships arriving at America’s ports has more than doubled. 

Projects to deepen port channels are underway or have recently been completed because of the need to service Panamax ships—those that are too large to fit through the Panama Canal. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did most of the dredging work, but the expanded waterside capacity has created an immediate need for landside infrastructure upgrades. Demand is high for everything from equipment, technology, cranes, transport vehicles, roads, railways, bridges and the construction of warehouse facilities.

Fortunately, funding is available for upgrading the nation’s port infrastructure. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provided a long-term $17 billion allocation to support upgrading and expanding port infrastructure. The U.S. Department of Transportation announced last November another $653 million in funding for port projects. Most initiatives will be supported by consolidating federal funding with other revenue sources.

Read also: AMERICA’S TOP 50 POWER PORTS

The traditional type of port operations has evolved, and there is evidence of impressive innovation at many ports. According to officials, artificial intelligence (AI) will play a significant role as ports maximize operational efficiency to speed up the flow of cargo and reduce wait times for vessels. Since two-thirds of the available wind power is located over deep ocean waters, ports are also beginning to play a key role in deploying and maintaining floating offshore wind energy apparatuses. 

Officials at the Port of Long Beach in California will oversee a project to expand the capacity of roads and bridges that are used to move cargo. This will allow rail and truck traffic to accommodate projected increases in cargo throughput and alleviate existing congestion. There are two components of the project. The first involves widening a rail bridge and enhancing its safety by realigning it. The second component calls for upgrades to multiple roadways that must be widened, realigned and improved. Additionally, work will be done on the area’s storm drainage, warehouse facilities and utilities. 

In Washington, the Tacoma Husky Terminal will receive $54.23 million in federal funding to reconfigure the terminal for better truck circulation. The total project cost is estimated at $125.9 million. Currently in the design phase, the project is scheduled for construction in January 2025. The project will be designed to cover three objectives. First, a plan will be developed to reconfigure the container storage yard. That effort will include relocating utilities, light poles, slot drains and fire hydrants. The second objective will require the installation of reefer racks and additional power. A reefer rack is a storage container designed to store perishable cargo at freezing indoor temperatures. New utilities and fire protection systems will be added. The third objective will be to relocate some of the port’s support facilities and construct new ones. 

The Port of Wilmington in Delaware has secured a federal grant of $50 million to construct a container terminal. The terminal has been planned for several years, but recent funding has created new momentum. The container terminal is one component of a larger overall plan to update and expand the Port of Wilmington. Port officials currently have $120 million to work with, and planning documents outline initiatives representing project costs of up to $750 million. Other project plans include constructing a 2,600-foot-long wharf, dredging 3.3 million cubic yards of river sediments, excavating a berth and access channel and adding bulkheading to 3,200 feet of shoreline. 

Hawaii’s Department of Transportation announced it will invest $33.9 million to improve operational efficiency at the Port of Kawaihae. A funding allocation from the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration will cover approximately 70% of the project’s total cost. The initiative will include widening Kawaihae Road, adding concrete paving over 10 acres of the port’s cargo yard, implementing 80-foot mast lighting, installing raised transformer pads for additional electrical power pads, and relocating the port office building and maintenance shed. The remainder of the project cost not covered by the PIPD grant will be obtained through revenues received from harbor user fees. Construction is scheduled for 2025.

The Galveston Wharves received an award of $42.3 million from the Texas Department of Transportation for a proposed $50.1 million project at the West Port Cargo Complex. The project entails overhauling a 1,340-foot-long berth across two open slips and adding about 500 feet of berthing area for cargo and lay ships. Construction is expected to begin this year. Noteworthy is the fact that the Texas legislature made history in the last regular session by allocating $640 million for infrastructure projects throughout the state.

In Arkansas, a project with an estimated $18.8 projected cost is being designed for the River Valley Slackwater Harbor. When completed, the new harbor will accommodate up to eight barges at a time and feature a 50-foot-wide concrete deck for mobile cranes. Officials have expressed a desire to finalize a contract for construction services within six months so that work can begin by late 2024. 

Numerous port projects of all types are anticipated in 2024 and 2025. Most will include technology, light rail, renewable energy components, engineering and construction services. 

Author Bio

Mary Scott Nabers is president/CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc., a full-service business development firm specializing in procurement consulting, government affairs, research, and public-private partnerships. She founded SPI after co-founding Gemini Global Group and, before that, serving as a statewide office holder in Texas.

 

airport global trade

U.S. Airports Will Offer Hundreds Of Collaboration Opportunities In 2024

Airports nationwide either have major upgrades in progress, or such initiatives are being designed for a 2024 launch date. A significant decline in air travel related to pandemic restrictions has been dramatically reversed and recent studies now report that a majority of Americans have plans to fly somewhere in the next year. To meet the anticipated demand, the Federal Aviation Administration is providing funding support for critical projects. A total of $1 billion was distributed in 2023 for airport improvements, including basic infrastructure upgrades, expanded facilities, equipment purchases, safety enhancements, new technology and other amenities. 

Reada also: AFA Sponsors New Bill To Reduce Airport Truck Congestion

Airports have long benefited from federal funding support for normal operations. Still, now, with an abundance of funding for capital improvement projects, airports will be busy with improvement projects of all types. More than $300 million was recently awarded to support projects throughout the U.S. Examples of upcoming projects planned for 2024 launches follow.

The Salt Lake City International Airport will be expanded as part of an Airport Redevelopment Program. While phase I is complete and phases II and III are underway, a massive phase IV is still waiting to launch. Projects with a cumulative cost projection of $683 million are still in the design phase. The Federal Aviation Administration has provided another $29 million to support this last development phase. One construction project will add a 300,000-square-foot concourse expansion. The new construction will include upgrades for all three levels of the concourse. The ground floor will have additional space for airport operations, storage and support services. The second level will be devoted primarily to passenger circulation and amenities. A total of 16 new gates and an additional 40,000 square feet of food and retail space will be added. Level 3 will provide dedicated public space, an outdoor deck for relaxation, and large electrical and telecommunications rooms. Also included will be utility upgrades, paving and repair work, and limited demolition services.

City officials are discussing plans to upgrade and expand Area 4 of the Barbara Jordan terminal at the Austin Bergstrom International Airport in Texas. The estimated cost for the planned expansions falls somewhere between $200 million and $375 million. The project is still in its planning phase and a solicitation for the required design work is scheduled for this year. Construction solicitations will follow as soon as the design is finalized. This effort will include reconfiguring and modernizing the terminal and redesigning the area where planes park to receive passengers and baggage. There will not be an increase in the number of gates, but ADA accessibility and security will be upgraded. A $14 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration will be consolidated with other funding.

Officials at the St. Louis Lambert International Airport in Missouri will partner with airlines to fund a $331.6 million upgrading initiative. The projects that will be launched are part of a larger master plan that outlines approximately $3 billion in improvements. A new central utility plan is needed, and the design phase for that effort will begin this year. Upgrades are also planned for the airport’s mechanical and electrical systems, water main pumps, air conditioning and power distribution systems. The design and construction of the utility plant has been tagged with a cost estimate of $175 million. Another project being designed currently will relocate the airfield’s maintenance campus. The current campus is in a flood-prone area and cannot be used to store modern airfield equipment. Relocating the campus will cost $85 million. The design of a new de-icing pad will start mid-2024 and that effort currently has a cost projection of $53.2 million. 

The air traffic control tower at Tulsa International Airport in Oklahoma is nearing the end of its useful life, and a replacement project is planned. A new control tower and terminal radar approach control facility will be constructed at approximately $102 million. The project received funding for the design phase and is slated for this year. The new facility will meet current design and code standards, eliminate line-of-sight issues, provide space to accommodate all needed personnel in one place, and update all communication equipment. 

Officials at the Presque Isle International Airport in Maine will oversee a project to replace the passenger terminal. The planned $30 million construction project will deliver a 22,000-square-foot, two-story structure. A construction solicitation was slated for release early this year, and construction is scheduled to begin in June. The security and bag checking areas will be expanded and a new fire alarm system will be installed. The current terminal lacks a fire FAA-compliant system, which will be addressed. Other upgrades will include constructing a new airport ramp, expanding the rental car space, and installing universal electric vehicle chargers. There are also plans to relocate the airport’s museum to the new building. 

The Kahului Airport on the Hawaiian island of Maui received a $22 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration that will be used to support a $62.3 million TSA security checkpoint project. A construction solicitation for the work was set for release near the end of last year. The new south checkpoint waiting lobby, screening lanes and TSA support spaces will be moved to the second floor of the new screening facility. The ground level will be designed to provide office spaces and tenant retail. A pedestrian bridge will connect the south checkpoint to a passenger hold room. This effort will significantly benefit the Kahului Airport, the second busiest airport in Hawaii. 

Airport upgrade activities in 2024 will be significant and demand for experienced contractors will be high. Airline travel is not only getting back to normal, but it is projected to represent significant increases.

Author Bio

Mary Scott Nabers is president/CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc., a full-service business development firm specializing in procurement consulting, government affairs, research, and public-private partnerships. She founded SPI after co-founding Gemini Global Group and, before that, serving as a statewide office holder in Texas.

 

port

New Components and Requirements for Port Projects in 2023 are Obvious

The time has come to stop thinking about port projects in the same way we once did. Everything has changed and with an abundance of funding, port projects in 2023 will include many new components.

Over the last several years, shifting economic and environmental conditions have significantly impacted ports. New challenges along with new funding criteria have forced port officials to focus intently and invest heavily in projects that deliver resilience, sustainability, and accessibility in port infrastructure.

New types of projects can be observed as federal funding is awarded for upcoming projects at U.S. ports. The USDOT’s Maritime Administration recently allocated $703 million for 41 port projects in 23 states that all contain components related to reducing carbon emissions and promoting renewable energy. A combined $100 million was also recently awarded to initiatives in a relatively new area of investment — offshore wind production. This new vein of federal investment results from the country’s 2030 goal to deliver 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy. That goal, when reached, will provide enough to power 10 million homes with renewable energy.

State governments are also promoting new types of port projects through new funding criteria. Infrastructure funding from all sources is beginning to carry many of the same requirements.

On Dec. 20, the Massachusetts governor announced $75 million in state funding for offshore wind projects at the Port of New Bedford. As a global hub for commercial fishing, the port already has a robust, fully developed supply chain in place so the upcoming projects will support site redevelopment, terminal expansion, and logistical improvement projects to accommodate offshore wind. New England’s largest offshore wind project will help generate and deliver enough clean energy to power approximately 750,000 homes.

California is also reshaping its port infrastructure to accommodate offshore wind production. In mid-December, officials approved a new state plan for battling climate change which encourages development of offshore wind power at port sites.

Offshore wind developments were announced in New Jersey last month. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority has reached a lease agreement with the second of two private companies for a wind port. The leases highlight a major tenet of the state’s commitment to reconfiguring port infrastructure for sustainability. The goal of these first two initiatives is to yield enough clean energy to power more than 700,000 homes. To confirm the future direction, six leases to operate wind ports in New Jersey and New York were auctioned off to private sector partners for a combined $4.37 billion.

Perhaps bolstered by private sector enthusiasm, the state of New York has adopted an extremely ambitious iteration of new port plans. State officials will invest in developing nine gigawatts of offshore wind energy – enough to generate enough clean energy to power millions of homes in the future.

A $48 million wind terminal project has been announced for Staten Island in 2023. Federal funding has been secured and construction will launch late in 2023. The project will require dredging of 740,000 cubic yards and the deepening of a ship basin that will adjoin an offshore wind staging and assembly facility.

Five counties within the Chesapeake Bay area of Maryland will launch a feasibility study related to a planned regional passenger ferry service. Funding from the tourism bureau will support the consortium and the initiative. The feasibility study will identify sites for eventual construction of ferry terminals throughout the region and recommendations will be used to scope both the timeline and budget for the project.

A $1.8 billion project in Louisiana is slated for launch in 2025. The Port of New Orleans will build a new port container facility designed to support the growth of advanced manufacturing, agribusiness and energy sectors. The new container terminal will be located on a 1,200-acre parcel in St. Bernard Parish and the objective will be to create a logistical nerve center for port operations which will expand access to global markets. Components of the project will include stormwater drainage and natural buffers between the port and nearby residential communities.

A Grays Harbor Terminal 4 expansion and redevelopment project in Washington will carry a $47 million price tag. Currently in preconstruction phase, the project will be designed to facilitate flow of cargo through an international shipping complex. Several construction components will improve the port’s operational efficiencies, with particular emphasis on the process of exporting regional agricultural products. A second agricultural ship loader will also be required.

In California, the Port of Long Beach will launch a $200 million project designed to mitigate the risks of climate change. The project’s objective is to embed resilience and sustainability into future port operations. It will include construction of a new electric substation to power dredging equipment to reduce carbon emissions otherwise tied to dredging. Port officials may also begin reusing dredged sediment for building leasable terminal space which could offset future port expenditures.

Earlier this month, USDOT’s Maritime Administration issued a notice of funding opportunity. In 2023, another $662 million in grant funding will be available for U.S. port projects that are designed for long-term value. From planning document scrutiny, it appears that funding from all sources will continue to support the basic tenants of the projects described in this column. This new vision for future port infrastructure projects is worthy of note.

picture of a ship at a port

More Funding now Flowing to U.S. Ports for Modernization Projects

American ports, even those that are among the busiest in the world, have faced near-crippling levels of congestion since the outbreak of COVID. Supply chain back-ups have also had a negative impact. The smaller ports especially have scrambled to meet demand, but it is obvious that operational inadequacies at all U.S. ports must be addressed. Now, significant public investment is opening up for port projects of all types.

With funding support from the federal government, port authorities in each coastal region are being upgraded, modernized and electrified. The goal is sustainability because America’s ports are huge contributors to the country’s GDP.

Most of the improvements will apply to deficiencies in cargo handling because container vessels idling outside of ports have consistently increased over the past three years. This issue must be addressed, and U.S. ports must improve their capabilities. Immediate needs and objectives include electrifying cargo handling equipment, upgrading shore power, enhancing electric grid infrastructure and exploring new port-side applications for hydrogen energy.

To assist with all this, the federal government is disbursing billions of dollars to ports through grant programs. The Inflation Reduction Act allocates $3 billion to fund acquisition and installation of zero-emission equipment at ports. Another $1 billion is available to help port authorities electrify their fleets of heavy-duty vehicles. Additionally, $662 million is available through the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration. Very soon, 50 funding grants to support projects that improve efficiency and reliability of port operations will be announced.

Examples of upcoming projects now being planned include the following.

The Port of Oakland in California is planning a $48.9 million project to modernize one of its terminals. The port, which is the ninth busiest in the U.S., will use the bulk of its funding for energy and infrastructure improvements. Components of the project will include improvements such as an off-dock container support facility with commercial truck access, perimeter fencing, upgraded storage facilities, refrigerated container storage, LED lighting, drainage enhancements, substation improvements, battery storage and the addition of charging stations. A significant number of the improvements will be scaled to bolster capacity, reliability and resilience of the port’s electrical grid.

Planning officials with the Port of Coos Bay in Oregon will launch a $1.8 billion project to deliver a new rail line, another navigation channel and a container terminal. A public-private partnership will steer the project through its planning phase. Once that is accomplished, construction will launch in 2024. The project will create infrastructure for 12 new trains between the port and nearby city of Eugene and mitigate supply chain congestion that continues to logjam operations.

Another large allocation of funding will be required for the launch of a port project in Anchorage, Ala. This initiative carries a cost projection of approximately $2.2 billion. Port officials and local leaders are working together to oversee the initiative. The updated concept involves construction of two identical terminals to support new cargo-handling cranes that will be roughly three times the size of the port’s current, outdated cranes. State officials have approved $200 million in capital funding and the port will leverage that for matching federal funds to cover the remaining project costs.

State lawmakers in Virginia recently amended the state’s newest budget to allow funding for a new inland port in the southwestern county of Washington. The $65 million project, which also received approval from Washington County officials, is currently in the preliminary planning stage. Features of the initiative will likely include a new rail connection for shipping goods to and from the Port of Virginia to the coastal city of Norfolk.

The Gulf Coast of Texas is planning numerous port-focused contracting opportunities focused on electrification, modernization, resilience and efficiency. Recently, officials representing the Port of Galveston announced plans to issue $100 million in bonds to support the delivery of critically needed improvements. Approval of the bond issue will launch work on projects that include a new cargo complex, upgrades to an existing cruise terminal, and construction of a new, fourth terminal at the port.

Also in Texas, the Port of Corpus Christi has plans for a $1 billion initiative that will include two projects. The first effort will focus on improving existing terminals and the other project will expand terminal storage. Both projects are outlined in the recently released Texas Port Mission Plan for 2024-2025. Additionally, the Port of Corpus Christi Authority is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on a $682 million ship channel project which will be in development during the same timeframe.

A new port rail connection in New Jersey will carry a large price tag – approximately $100 million. Officials at Port Elizabeth plan to address much-needed upgrades and enhancements. Soon, the port authority plans to allocate funding to improve port operations and finalize the planning of a new port rail connection which will be delivered through a public-private partnership. The new track will connect a regional rail station to the broader national rail network. Construction is slated to begin following selection of a preferred alternative design (tentatively expected in June 2023).

Officials at Southern Florida’s Port Miami, which ranks as the 10th busiest port in the U.S., will announce plans for a landmark capital spending plan. Over the next five years, the port will undergo a series of construction projects with a combined budget of $1.2 billion. The projects will expand cargo operations and position the port to capture a greater amount of the economic activity that is being routed away from congested ports. One objective will be to invest $55 million in new cargo-handling cranes that can operate on the port’s electrical grid. Once this initial work is completed, port officials will begin to work on another $1.6 billion in longer-term capital improvement initiatives.

Companies with offerings and services that can be provided to port authorities will find officials eager to discuss their upcoming initiatives. Federal funding as well as alternative funding will be available, and the only delay now is the wait for planning and design work to be completed.

port

A MIGHTY WIND: New Components and Requirements for Port Projects in 2023 are Obvious

The time has come to stop thinking about port projects in the same way we once did. Everything has changed and with an abundance of funding, port projects in 2023 will include many new components.

Over the last several years, shifting economic and environmental conditions have significantly impacted ports. New challenges along with new funding criteria have forced port officials to focus intently and invest heavily in projects that deliver resilience, sustainability, and accessibility in port infrastructure.

New types of projects can be observed as federal funding is awarded for upcoming projects at U.S. ports. The USDOT’s Maritime Administration recently allocated $703 million for 41 port projects in 23 states that all contain components related to reducing carbon emissions and promoting renewable energy. A combined $100 million was also recently awarded to initiatives in a relatively new area of investment: offshore wind production. This new vein of federal investment results from the country’s 2030 goal to deliver 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy. That goal, when reached, will provide enough to power 10 million homes with renewable energy.  

State governments are also promoting new types of port projects through new funding criteria. Infrastructure funding from all sources is beginning to carry many of the same requirements. 

On Dec. 20, the Massachusetts governor announced $75 million in state funding for offshore wind projects at the Port of New Bedford. As a global hub for commercial fishing, the port already has a robust, fully developed supply chain in place so the upcoming projects will support site redevelopment, terminal expansion, and logistical improvement projects to accommodate offshore wind. New England’s largest offshore wind project will help generate and deliver enough clean energy to power approximately 750,000 homes. 

California is also reshaping its port infrastructure to accommodate offshore wind production. In mid-December, officials approved a new state plan for battling climate change which encourages development of offshore wind power at port sites. 

Offshore wind developments were announced in New Jersey recently. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority has reached a lease agreement with the second of two private companies for a wind port. The leases highlight a major tenet of the state’s commitment to reconfiguring port infrastructure for sustainability. The goal of these first two initiatives is to yield enough clean energy to power more than 700,000 homes. To confirm the future direction, six leases to operate wind ports in New Jersey and New York were auctioned off to private sector partners for a combined $4.37 billion.

Perhaps bolstered by private sector enthusiasm, the state of New York has adopted an extremely ambitious iteration of new port plans. State officials will invest in developing nine gigawatts of offshore wind energy–enough to generate clean energy to power millions of homes in the future. 

A $48 million wind terminal project has been announced for Staten Island this year. Federal funding has been secured and construction will launch later in 2023. The project will require dredging of 740,000 cubic yards and the deepening of a ship basin that will adjoin an offshore wind staging and assembly facility. 

Five counties within the Chesapeake Bay area of Maryland will launch a feasibility study related to a planned regional passenger ferry service. Funding from the tourism bureau will support the consortium and the initiative. The feasibility study will identify sites for eventual construction of ferry terminals throughout the region and recommendations will be used to scope both the timeline and budget for the project. 

A $1.8 billion project in Louisiana is slated for launch in 2025. The Port of New Orleans will build a new port container facility designed to support the growth of advanced manufacturing, agribusiness, and energy sectors. The new container terminal will be located on a 1,200-acre parcel in St. Bernard Parish and the objective will be to create a logistical nerve center for port operations which will expand access to global markets. Components of the project will include stormwater drainage and natural buffers between the port and nearby residential communities. 

A Grays Harbor Terminal 4 expansion and redevelopment project in Washington will carry a $47 million price tag. Currently in preconstruction phase, the project will be designed to facilitate flow of cargo through an international shipping complex. Several construction components will improve the port’s operational efficiencies, with particular emphasis on the process of exporting regional agricultural products. A second agricultural ship loader will also be required. 

In California, the Port of Long Beach will launch a $200 million project designed to mitigate the risks of climate change. The project’s objective is to embed resilience and sustainability into future port operations. It will include construction of a new electric substation to power dredging equipment to reduce carbon emissions otherwise tied to dredging. Port officials may also begin reusing dredged sediment for building leasable terminal space which could offset future port expenditures. 

Late in 2022, USDOT’s Maritime Administration issued a notice of funding opportunity. This year, another $662 million in grant funding will be available for U.S. port projects that are designed for long-term value. From planning document scrutiny, it appears that funding from all sources will continue to support the basic tenants of the projects described in this column. This new vision for future port infrastructure projects is worthy of note. 

Mary Scott Nabers is president/CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc., a full-service business development firm specializing in procurement consulting, government affairs, research, and public-private partnerships. She founded SPI after co-founding Gemini Global Group and, before that, serving as a statewide office holder in Texas.

infrastructure

AMERICA’S PORTS FINALLY ADDRESS LONG OVERDUE INFRASTRUCTURE NEEDS

Ports throughout the U.S. have extremely critical infrastructure needs, and port officials in numerous states are readying projects for launch. America’s ports are in desperate need of modernization, expansion, upgrades and repairs if they are to remain viable. Because of the economic contributions that ports provide to the U.S. economy, officials can no longer ignore or defer these essential projects.

If, or when, Congress passes the infrastructure bill, billions in federal funding will be available, but even that amount of new revenue will likely not cover costs for the most critical needs. Most states have allocated large amounts of funding, and public-private partnerships are being considered for some port initiatives. 

Regardless of the funding sources, it is evident that port modernization, which is long overdue, is finally beginning rather aggressively in America.

TEXAS

Every Texas port must undergo critical upgrading and modernization. Approximately $3.6 billion will be required for the state to cover the most immediate needs at its ports. A 2022-2023 Texas Port Mission Plan outlines numerous high-value projects that are priorities.

The Port of Corpus Christi Authority is seeking $155.5 million for three liquid bulk dock projects at the Avery Point Terminal. The docks, with an average age of 56, are suffering from severe degradation of key components and cannot adequately accommodate large Suezmax vessels arriving at the same time.

The Port of Beaumont is planning a $61.6 million dock facility that will be capable of loading and unloading supersized vessels. The project will feature a pedestrian walkway, access roads and pipeline connectivity.

The Port of Galveston needs to spend $60.7 million to repair damaged and decaying infrastructure that is unusable. The scope of this project will include dredging, constructing two fill-retaining structures, improving storm sewers, installing flexible pavement and replacing a deteriorated bulkhead.

CALIFORNIA

The Port of Oakland’s updated five-year capital improvement plan (CIP) outlines projects estimated at $543.7 million. Approximately $92.2 million is allocated for airfield projects that the port maintains. Critical security upgrades are estimated at about $57.8 million and will include work on access control gates, baggage claim exits and installation of an integrated landside security camera system

Approximately $27.2 million is needed for marine terminal improvements and crane upgrades. This effort will include $10.2 million for wharf upgrades that are now required for ultra-large container vessels and $8.5 million for reconstruction of berths at the port. Other projects considered high priorities include a channel deepening project, substation replacements and the installation of electric truck charging stations.

Down south, the Port of Long Beach approved a Fiscal Year 2022 budget that includes $622.4 million for the Long Beach Harbor, with half of that amount dedicated to capital improvement projects. A project to construct a second fire station will support the port’s fireboat vessels and its landside fire assets. It carries a projected cost of $35.6 million. An additional $38.4 million will be spent on improvements to wharfs and another $870 million is earmarked for the expansion of a rail yard. 

In 2022, construction will begin on a track realignment project that carries a cost estimate of approximately $40 million.

PENNSYLVANIA

The Port Authority of Allegheny County introduced a 2022 operating and capital budget that details $53.4 million in projects. Anticipated initiatives include rail and bus facility improvements and the installation of electric charging infrastructure. Other port divisions will receive $1.7 million for systemwide upgrades of security and fire alarm systems. The Port Authority also approved its first range transportation plan, NEXTransit, that outlines 18 planned projects that cumulatively carry a $3.7 billion price tag.

The Port Authority of Pittsburgh plans to begin work in 2022 on a new two-level deck that will increase the available parking by 360 spaces. The authority has received an $11.5 million federal grant for the project. The construction project will be comprehensive as it will require moving the lot’s main entrance to the north, widening Route 19 to add turning lanes, and construction of retaining walls, drainage improvements and new paving work.

Scheduled to be completed in May 2022, a $42 million, 201,621-square-foot distribution center is a critical step in the development of the Port of Philadelphia’s Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, the region’s main container terminal. PhilaPort Executive Director and CEO Jeff Theobald boasts that the food-grade warehouse, which is one mile from the marine terminal, will help attract new shippers and ocean lines and “generate hundreds of good, family-sustaining jobs.”

These are just a few examples of upcoming contracting opportunities at ports throughout the country. Major ports in America are all in dire need of attention, and officials in every state where ports are located are well aware of the economic engines of ports. Funding will be found, and ports will be modernized in the very near future. Private sector firms interested in partnering to keep America’s ports operating at peak capacity should be getting positioned now to compete for these very large partnering opportunities.

____________________________________________________________________

Mary Scott Nabers is president and CEO of Strategic Partnerships Inc., an Austin, Texas-based business development company specializing in government contracting and procurement consulting throughout the country. Inside the Infrastructure Revolution: A Roadmap for Building America, is her recently released handbook for contractors, investors and the public-at-large seeking to explore how public-private partnerships or joint ventures can help finance their infrastructure projects.