WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced in an Oct. 15 release the award of more than $220 million in discretionary grant funding to improve port facilities in 16 states and territories through the Maritime Administration’s (MARAD’s) Port Infrastructure Development Program.
“This $220 million in federal grants will improve America’s ports with nearly half the projects are located in Opportunity Zones, which were established to revitalize economically distressed communities,” Chao said.
U.S. maritime ports are critical links in the U.S. domestic and international trade supply chain and this funding will assist in the improvement of port facilities at or near coastal seaports. The Port Infrastructure Development Program aims to support efforts by ports and industry stakeholders to improve facility and freight infrastructure to ensure our nation’s freight transportation needs, present and future, are met. The program provides planning, operational and capital financing, and project management assistance to improve their capacity and efficiency.
Of the 18 projects that were awarded grants, eight are located in Opportunity Zones, created to revitalize economically distressed communities using private investments.
“This critical investment demonstrates the Trump Administration’s commitment to supporting our nation’s ports and maritime industry,” said Maritime Administrator Mark H. Buzby. “These grants will help our nation’s economy and ensure that America’s ports can continue to operate effectively in the competitive global marketplace.”
Ports provide countless jobs for Americans and are key to a nation that heavily relies on its maritime services. By providing the funding to support the improvement of this critical infrastructure component, MARAD and the Department of Transportation are ensuring these services will succeed during the nation’s ongoing economic recovery.