Grants totaling US$62 million have been awarded by the US Department of Transportation (DoT) to port related projects in the third round of its TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) programme.
Of the $511 million being made available through capital grants, the DoT has awarded four of the 46 awards to projects that will improve port-related infrastructure, according to the IFW.
The Port of New Orleans received $16.7 million for the build of a new freight rail terminal and additional improvements to its cargo operations.
California's Long Beach Port will also use its $17 million grant for the enhancement of its rail infrastructure, including the improvement of tracks linking two rail yards to the port and to help relieve a rail chokepoint.
Jacksonville Port will get a further $10 million towards the construction of the Dames Point Intermodal Container Facility.
South Jersey Port meanwhile will receive an additional $18.5 million to restore the DelAir Bridge to help enhance rail connections to Pennsylvania, New Jersey and the north-east of the country.
In addition to those mentioned above, there are a number of TIGER III awarded projects that address key congestion points along main rail lines, inland port facilities and highway trade corridors.
“DoT Secretary LaHood has indicated on numerous occasions the value and importance of seaport-related infrastructure to America’s overall transportation system and our nation’s competitiveness in global trade,” said American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) President and CEO Kurt Nagle.
“We applaud this recognition of the critical role our nation’s ports play and the federal support in TIGER III for seaports.”
“Considering the vast number of applications submitted for the relatively small pot of money available, we recognize there was a lot of competition for the limited funds. However, we will continue to advocate for a 25 percent share of future TIGER grants, which we believe is the appropriate amount since port infrastructure investments are one of the four eligible areas (along with highways/bridges, transit, and freight/passenger rail) for the program,” added Mr. Nagle.
During the first round of TIGER grant awards, 8 percent of the original $1.5 billion was awarded to port-related infrastructure projects, while 17 percent were awarded during the second round.
The $62 million of the $511 million awarded in the third and final round represents 12 percent of the total TIGER funding this time round.