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USA - More than $700M in federal funds earmarked for seaports

Bolstered by additional funds from the infrastructure law, this year’s PIDP awards will make an unprecedented investment in U.S. port infrastructure, AAPA says.

The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Maritime Administration (MARAD) has announced $703 million in grant awards for the Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP), a greater amount than any year in the program’s history. Bolstered by additional funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), this year’s PIDP awards will make an unprecedented investment in U.S. port infrastructure, according to the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), Washington, which urges quick and efficient administration of these awards.

MARAD announced that 41 infrastructure projects in 23 states and one territory will receive funding, including coastal seaports, Great Lakes ports and inland river ports, helping improve supply chain reliability through increased port capacity and resilience, more efficient operations, reduced port emissions and new workforce opportunities.

“So many of the goods we all count on, from appliances to furniture to clothes, move through our nation’s ports on their way to us,” U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg says in a news release issued by MARAD. “Using funds from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this year we're awarding record levels of funding to improve our port infrastructure, strengthen our supply chains, and help cut costs for American families.”

PIDP supports efforts by ports and industry stakeholders to improve port and related freight infrastructure to meet the nation’s freight transportation needs and ensure our port infrastructure can meet anticipated growth in freight volumes, MARAD says. The program provides planning, capital funding and project management assistance to improve ports’ capacity and efficiency? The PIDP provides funding to ports in urban and rural areas for planning and capital projects. It also includes a statutory set-aside for small ports to continue to improve and expand their capacity to move freight reliably and efficiently and support local and regional economies.

More than 60 percent of the awards will benefit ports in historically disadvantaged communities, MARAD says, and several of the projects will help reduce emissions at the ports through electrification. The awards also include nearly $100 million for port projects that will advance offshore wind deployment–in support of President Biden’s bold goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030, which is enough to power 10 million homes with clean energy, support 77,000 jobs and spur private investment up and down the supply chain.

“President Biden’s commitment to modernizing our infrastructure - from the beginning of his Administration - has resulted in an unprecedented investment in all segments of our port infrastructure to enable us to move goods more quickly, strengthen supply chain resiliency and reduce the climate impacts of port operations themselves,” Maritime Administrator Ann Phillips says.

Among the projects receiving funding are:  

The JAXPORT EXPRESS Project ($23.52 million), Jacksonville, Florida – The project includes five primary components: 1) installation of electrified refrigerated container stacks; 2) procurement of six hybrid-electric rubber-tired gantry cranes; 3) procurement of 16 battery-electric forklifts, ten battery-electric yard tractors, and seven Tier 4 diesel top picks; 4) installation of 15 high-power direct current fast charging stations and make-ready stub-outs; and 5) development of a replaceable and scalable plan for transitioning the port and local maritime industry to zero-emission technologies.

Salem Wind Port Project ($33.84 million), Salem, Massachusetts – The project will redevelop a vacant industrial facility into a marshalling area for offshore wind (OSW) energy projects. The project includes construction of a 700-foot-long wharf and bulkhead that will be able to handle oversized and heavy cargoes and will be able to serve as a loadout and assembly location. The project also includes improvements to approximately 23 acres of adjacent uplands to create a laydown area adjacent to the loadout and assembly space.

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