The US Department of Transportation announced its list of recipients for $500 million in funding for road, transit, maritime and rail projects in the ninth round of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program on March 9th 2018.
A total of five of the 41 awarded projects are port-related, however only two of those went to marine port authorities.
In total, port-related projects received $72.7 million in funding – equalling about 14.54% of the available $500 million.
The American Association of Port Authorities (AAP) has repeatedly called for port-related projects to receive at least 25% of the total funding.
In TIGER’s first round of funding (2009) port-related infrastructure projects received 8.6% of total funding – a figure that has steadily grown to 12.36 percent in the previous round.
Read the “Funding and financing marine infrastructure” for further discussion on investments into port-related projects
AAPA President and CEO, Kurt Nagle, commented: “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.
While we’re pleased there were a few port-related projects included in the ninth round of TIGER grants just announced, we’re disappointed there weren’t more.
Projects that aid the movement of goods through America’s ports should be a high priority for these federal grants, and port-related projects should be among the leading candidates.
It’s also important that projects from the full range of port sizes and types receive grant awards in any future rounds of TIGER funding.”
Seaport cargo activity in the US accounts for 26% of the GDP, creates over 23 million American jobs and generates over $320 billion annually in federal, state and local taxes.
The five projects that were approved for discretionary grants are:
- Baltimore County, Maryland, which will receive $20 million for the Mid-Atlantic Multi-Modal Transportation Hub to build state-of-the-art cargo-handling facilities at the Sparrows Point industrial facility in East Baltimore.
- The City of Burlington, Iowa, which will receive $17 million for its Downtown/Riverfront Revitalization Project to convert parts of Main and Jefferson streets into complete streets, constructing a linear multi-use path park, a new waterfront community gathering area and new parking lots.
- Louisiana’s St. Bernard Port, Harbor and Terminal District which will receive $13 million to rehabilitate to modern design standards the last two original wharf sections, A and F, which have been maintained but have exceeded their useful lives over the past 110 years.
- The Alabama State Port Authority which will receive $12.7 million for its Southeast Automotive Gateway. The project is to convert an abandoned bulk handling facility at the Port of Mobile into a roll-on/roll-off mobile vehicle processing facility.
- The Indiana Department of Transportation which will receive $10 million for the Wabash River Rail Bridge Infrastructure Revitalization Project to replace two deteriorating freight rail approaches to the Wabash River Bridge.