Port-Related Projects Awarded $61.8 Million in TIGER VIII Infrastructure Grants
The U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced 40 awards totaling nearly $500 million in funding for the FY 2016 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants.
Of the 585 applications submitted totaling $9.3 billion in requests, six awards totaling $61.8 million—or about 12.36 percent of the total funding—are going to commercial seaports or projects that directly aid the efficient movement of goods to and from U.S. ports.
Port applications totaled 53, or nine percent, of the total 585 submitted.
American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) President and CEO Kurt Nagle said that his organization believes it’s important for America’s seaports to be key components of USDOT’s TIGER discretionary grants program because of the critical role ports play in moving goods, sustaining jobs and bolstering the nation’s economy. He noted that direct funding for maritime infrastructure projects, including connections to ports, will improve freight mobility which helps reduce transportation costs and makes U.S. exports more attractive to overseas buyers.
“TIGER grants are one of the few federal funding programs available to public port authorities to help them pay for critical infrastructure to move and handle freight more efficiently,” said Nagle. “We’re pleased that a number of port projects were included in the eighth round of TIGER grants, but this year’s grants included few funds for major maritime freight gateways. It’s important that projects from the full range of port sizes and types receive grant awards in upcoming rounds of TIGER funding.”
AAPA has been a strong supporter of the TIGER grant program. In TIGER’s first round in fiscal 2009, port-related infrastructure projects received about 8.6 percent of the original $1.5 billion allocated. In subsequent rounds, port-related infrastructure did better, garnering 14.6 percent of a total of $600 million in the second, 12.8 percent of the total of $527 million in the third, 13.6 percent of $500 million in the fourth,13.3 percent of $474 million in the fifth, 12.4 percent of $600 million in the sixth, and nine percent of $500 million in the seventh.
The six port projects receiving TIGER awards include $17.63 million to the Albany Port District in New York to support maritime infrastructure improvements at the Port of Albany to enhance project cargo handling capabilities. The project will reconstruct the wharf with roll-on/roll-off capacity, replace a warehouse, reconstruct a cargo storage area, and rebuild a port roadway.
The Virgin Islands Port Authority will receive $10.67 Million to renovate and reconstruct a roll-on/roll-off dock, make waterside improvements to increase berthing capacity, construct a 19,000 square foot multi-use facility for cargo storage and administrative activities, and implement security enhancements on the south side of St. Croix.
The Port of Everett Washington was awarded $10 million to modernize the Port of Everett South Terminal. The project includes strengthening more than 500 feet of dock, creating a modern berth capable of handling roll-on/roll-off and intermodal cargo, and upgrading high voltage power systems. The project will also construct rail sidings to increase on-site rail car storage.
The Port Authority of Guam’s grant of $10 Million will go towards reconstructing and expanding a wharf built in 1948. The project also includes demolition of surface facilities and construction of additional structural components.
The Port of Portland, Oregon, will receive a grant of $7.33 million to construct a grade separation over a busy marine terminal rail lead and road, intersection, and multimodal improvements to increase access and connectivity between the port and the National Highway System. The project includes a realignment of the North Rivergate Blvd. and North Lombard St. intersection to better accommodate turning trucks.
The Little Rock Port Authority in Arkansas was awarded a $6.19-million grant to construct improvements to the slack water harbor area, including a new dock with direct dock to-rail capability.