U.S. DOT Marks Completion of Port of Providence TIGER Project
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administrator Paul “Chip” Jaenichen joined Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo and Senator Jack Reed, along with state and local officials, last week to christen a new crane barge. That ceremony marked the completion of a $20 million project that substantially enhances cargo handling capabilities at the Port of Providence.
Funded, in part, by a $10.5 million Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant in 2010, the crane barge, along with two high performance cranes that were delivered in 2013, have transformed the port into a modern maritime cargo center.
“This project is precisely what the Obama administration had in mind when it created TIGER–a transformative infrastructure project that not only helps shape this country’s future, but one that also opens the floodgates of opportunity across America,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
The $10.5 million TIGER grant supported the purchase of a marine barge and two high performance cranes, as well as specialized equipment that allow the cranes to move a variety of cargo. The barge will be used as a platform for the cranes. The new cranes can transfer cargo to and from vessels twice as fast as the old cranes. The barge, which enables cargo transfer for vessels too large to be positioned at the dock, facilitates the expansion of bulk operations, and supports the development container operations at the port.
“An investment in maritime infrastructure is an investment in the future,” said Jaenichen. “When you boost port capability and capacity, you create a long-lasting economic engine that will benefit the local and regional economies for decades.”
“Rhode Island is a maritime state,” said Reed. “It’s part of our heritage and key to our future. Our ports have a strategic location and room for growth, and I am committed to modernizing our port infrastructure and creating good-paying, sustainable jobs. Thanks to federal transportation funding, we have made major improvements here at the port of Providence as well as at our small shipyards and the Port of Davisville. By expanding capacity and improving both dockside facilities and inland connections, our ports can increase the volume of business.”
The Port of Providence is one of only two deepwater ports in New England. According to port officials, the port has generated $200 million in total economic impact on the region, provided more than $60 million in direct business revenues, and $16 million in revenue to local and state governments.
To date, 43 TIGER grants totaling nearly $524 million have been awarded to U.S. ports and maritime transportation projects, representing 11.4 percent of total TIGER funds awarded.