Port-Related Projects Awarded $44.3 Million in TIGER VII Infrastructure Grants - Global Trade Magazine
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  November 2nd, 2015 | Written by

Port-Related Projects Awarded $44.3 Million in TIGER VII Infrastructure Grants

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  • Five DOT TIGER awards totaling $44.3 million are going to seaports or to port-related projects.
  • At nine percent of total funding, the ports fared poorer under TIGER VII than in recent years.
  • Ports advocates are pushing for 25 percent of TIGER funding to be allocated to ports.
  • $61 million, four awards equaling 12 percent of total TIGER funding, is going to non-port freight-related projects.

Thirty-nine awards amounting to more than $500 million in development and improvement funding have been announced by the U.S. Department of Transportation as part of the agency’s seventh round of its discretionary multimodal grant program.

The awards were made after evaluating 627 applications for FY 2015 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants. Of those, five awards totaling $44.3 million, or about 9 percent of total funding, are going to commercial seaports or to projects “that directly aid the efficient movement of goods to and from America’s ports,” the agency said.

The nine percent figure is lower than ports have fared under TIGER in recent years. Ports advocates are pushing for 25 percent of TIGER funding to be allocated to ports.

Another $61 million, comprising four awards equal to about 12 percent of the total funding, is going to freight-related infrastructure projects around the country which aid in the movement of goods, by rail and/or truck.

“Transportation is always about the future. If we’re just fixing today’s problems, we’ll fall further and further behind,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, adding that “as the nation’s population continues to grow, there’s increasing demand for goods that require the transportation system to do more.”

The Port of Hueneme, California, received for $12.3 million in funding to improve intermodal infrastructure at the Port of Hueneme, including deepening Berths 1 and 2, strengthening Wharf 1, modernizing cargo handling infrastructure, and extending on-dock rail.

The City of Baltimore is the recipient of $10 million in TIGER funding to “restore the functionality and enhance the Southeast Port Industry Freight Corridor’s network of roads and bridges that connects the Port of Baltimore to regional and national highway systems.

The Ports of Indiana’s $10 million grant will provide funding to help construct a double rail loop and rail-to-barge transfer facility with additional rail and turnouts and include the construction of a nearly mile-long rail siding extension that will allow rail carriers to deliver a 90-car unit train to the port. The project will also fund the construction of a truck-to-rail intermodal facility to accommodate increasing truck traffic expected from the East End Bridge over the Ohio River.

A $10 million grant to the San Diego Unified Port District will fund the modernization of the port’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal by removing obsolete transit sheds and constructing a new ‘lay down’ area for temporary equipment storage with on-dock rail improvements.

The Port of Newport, Oregon, is slated to receive $2 million that will go into the development of an international deep-water marine terminal with intermodal access.

According to the USDOT, four non-port, freight-related infrastructure projects also received TIGER grants including an aggregate $25 million to the Indiana, Kansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin Departments of Transportation. That funding will “help implement a regional truck parking information management system using existing ITS technology on major truck freight routes.”

A $20 million grant to the Maine Department of Transportation will provide funding to rehabilitate approximately 380 miles of track throughout Maine, “removing long-standing bottlenecks and creating faster and more reliable freight service by upgrading rails, ties, road crossings, and constructing additional yard tracks and more efficient configurations.”

The Vermont Agency of Transportation will receive a $10 million grant to “help improve service on the state-owned rail line between Rutland and Burlington” by increasing operating speeds for both freight and passenger trains on the entire corridor linking the two cities.”

A grant of $6 million will go to the South Dakota Department of Transportation to increase rail capacity for agricultural shippers by constructing approximately more than 12 miles of rail in a key agricultural region to allow increased train speeds and a new siding that will add a location for trains to pass one another along a stretch of more than 160 miles of track which is currently single-tracked.