Kurt Nagle, president and chief executive officer of the American Association of Port
Authorities (AAPA), said his group applauds the funding ports will receive
through the federal government's Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery or TIGER grant program, but would like to see a big share for ports.
He said AAPA “will continue to advocate
for a permanent authorization of a TIGER program, and urge that 25
percent of future TIGER grants be provided for seaport related
infrastructure, since ports are one of the four eligible areas (along
with highways/bridges, transit, and freight/passenger rail) for the
The Transportation Department said last week that 47 transportation projects in 34 states and the District of Columbia will share almost $500 million in TIGER grants. The winning projects are detailed here.
DOT said “in many cases, these grants will serve as the final piece of funding for infrastructure investments totaling $1.7 billion in overall project costs. These federal funds are being leveraged with money from private-sector partners, states, local governments, metropolitan planning organizations and transit agencies.”
DOT said about 12 percent of the money will be used to help build port projects. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood attended a ceremony Friday where he presented the check for $11.4 million for a new rail project sponsored by the City of Bayonne, N.J. DOT said the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is matching these funds with over $100 million to create the South Hudson Intermodal Facility, a new rail terminal being built at the former Greenville Yards in Bayonne.
The terminal is adjacent to the Global Container Terminal, which has announced its own expansion. The rail terminal is expected to be completed in 2014 and will allow an additional 250,000 containers annually to be moved to and from ocean-going vessels and double-stack freight trains.
Other ports receving TIGER grants include:
- Port of Mobile (Alabama), which will use its $12 million TIGER grant to help fund the Garrows Bend Intermodal Container Transfer Facility that will transfer containers between the port and railroads serving it. The terminal will also handle domestic containers.
- Port of Brownsville (Texas), which received $12 million to build a 600-foot dock on the south side of the Brownsville ship channel to support marine highway container operations, as well as steel and bulk cargo.
- Port of Oakland, which was awarded $15 million to partially fund the Outer Harbor Intermodal Terminal Rail Access project.
- Port of Corpus Christi (Texas), which is being granted $10 million for expanding the Nueces River Rail Yard. AAPA said with new rail siding along the Nueces River, the port will be able to better accommodate more shipments and more exports, increasing the capacity and efficiency of the port. It says currently trains are routinely turned away from the port due to insufficient rail structure, forcing shipments to be trucked in from more distant locations.
- Port of West Memphis (Arkansas) will receive $11 million for an intermodal rail-port logistics park. The railyard will be upgraded and strengthened, allowing it to carry heavier loads. The project will extend a rail spur 13,500 feet to the base of the St. Francis Levee, allowing for direct transfer of cargo between rail and barge.
- Port of Catoosa (Tulsa, Okla.) will receive $6.4 million to be used to rehabilitate its main dock. Funds will be used resurfacing the main dock, realigning the on-site rail, and renovating a 200-ton crane.
- Port of Lewiston (Idaho) will receive $1.3 million to extend its existing 120-foot dock by 150 feet. The current size of the dock limits the movement of the port’s unloading crane to a relatively small area. AAPA said currently, the barge or crane must be repositioned several times to reach cargo, a long and cumbersome procedure. Extending the dock will allow the crane to move along the entire face of the dock and provide access to two barges simultaneously.
DOT said of the remaining 88 percent of the TIGER funds include:
- 35 percent for road and bridge projects, including more than $30 million for the replacement of rural roads and bridges that need improvements to address safety and state of good repair deficiencies.
- 16 percent to support transit projects like the Wave Streetcar Project in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
- 13 percent to support high-speed and intercity passenger rail projects like the Raleigh Union Station Project in North Carolina.
- 12 percent for freight rail projects, including elements of the CREATE (Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency) program to reduce freight rail congestion in Chicago.
- 12 percent to multimodal, bicycle and pedestrian projects like the Main Street-to-Main Street Multimodal Corridor project connecting Memphis and West Memphis. - Chris Dupin