Six port projects receive $61 million in TIGER grants

The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Department of Transportation:

(WASHINGTON) — U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced Thursday nearly $500 million will be made available for transportation projects across the country in the eighth round of the highly successful and competitive Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program. Foxx was joined by Jeff Zients, director of the National Economic Council at the White House, and Mayor William Peduto of Pittsburgh, Pa., on a national call with reporters to highlight how this funding will improve safety and economic opportunity in two U.S. territories, 32 states, and 40 communities across the country.

Since 2009, the TIGER grant program has provided a combined $5.1 billion to 421 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and tribal communities. These federal funds leverage money from private sector partners, states, local governments, metropolitan planning organizations and transit agencies. The 2016 TIGER round alone is leveraging nearly $500 million in federal investment to support $1.74 billion in overall transportation investments.

Notably, of the 40 grant recipients this year, nearly two-thirds are repeat applicants. The U.S. Department of Transportation has made a concerted effort to provide technical assistance to applicants to improve their projects.

Six grants were for projects related to the nation's commercial ports:

• Little Rock Port Authority Growth Initiative, $6.18 million — This grant constructs improvements to the slackwater harbor area, including a new dock with direct dock- to-rail capability; and adds rail storage. The project increases port capacity, which facilitates the removal of an estimated 50,000 annual large cargo trucks from national highways. It also enhances safety by reducing truck traffic on highways.

• Rehabilitation of "H" Wharf, Port Authority of Guam, $10 million — This grant will reconstruct and expand a wharf built in 1948, including a new sheet pile bulkhead retaining wall and upgrades to an access road. The project also includes demolition of surface facilities and construction of additional structural components. By reconstructing a damaged wharf to be more resilient to natural disasters, the project will bring port infrastructure into a state of good repair. The project improves the efficiency of goods movement to and from Guam.

• Port of Albany maritime improvements, Albany (N.Y.) Port District Commission, $17.62 million — This TIGER grant supports maritime infrastructure improvements at the Port of Albany to enhance project cargo handling capabilities. Specifically, the project reconstructs the wharf with roll on/roll off capacity, replaces a warehouse, reconstructs a cargo storage area, and rebuilds a port roadway. Port improvements increase the port’s ability to support regional manufacturing and economic activity by increasing capacity for safe transport of heavy project cargoes to destinations around the U.S. and overseas. This project helps the Port of Albany meet the good movement challenges of the regional economy.

• Portland Marine Terminal Freight and Jobs Access Project, Port of Portland (Ore.), $7.32 million — This grant constructs a grade separation over a busy marine terminal rail lead and constructs road, intersection, and multi-modal improvements to increase access and connectivity between the port and the National Highway System. The project includes a realignment of the North Rivergate Blvd. and North Lombard St. intersection to better accommodate turning trucks. The project will relieve truck shipment delays caused by the current at-grade rail crossing on North Rivergate Boulevard at the rail lead into the Rivergate Industrial District. The project will also produce travel time savings for trains accessing the port. Safety will be improved by reducing the risk of collision at the crossing and geometric improvements at the North Lombard Street intersection.

• Gordon A. Finch Terminal improvements, Virgin Islands Port Authority, $10.66 million — This grant will renovate and reconstruct a roll-on, roll-off dock, make waterside improvements to increase berthing capacity, construct an approximately 19,000 square foot multi-use facility for cargo storage and administrative activities, and implement security enhancements on the south side of St. Croix. The improved dock reduces risk of injuries to personnel during inclement weather or berthing conditions and allows Gordon A. Finch Terminal to service more than one vessel at a time. The project will also improve disaster response capabilities and will facilitate tourist and commercial development throughout the island.

• Port of Everett South Terminal modernization project, Port of Everett (Wash.), $10 million — This grant modernizes the Port of Everett South Terminal. The project includes strengthening more than 500 feet of dock, creating a modern berth capable of handling roll-on, roll-off and inter-modal cargo, and upgrading high voltage power systems. The project will also construct rail sidings to increase on-site rail car storage. This project modernizes the port’s facilities to meet 21st century demands to efficiently and safely serve larger, heavy cargo vessels critical to the region’s aerospace supply chain. The project improves the local and regional impact of freight movement on the general public by converting truck trips to rail. It also has environmental benefits from electrifying the terminal and implementing cold ironing.

To view the complete list of 2016 TIGER grants, click here.

By Professional Mariner Staff