Maritime projects awarded more than $74 million in TIGER VI infrastructure grants
After evaluating 797 applications totaling requests for $9 billion for fiscal year 2014 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grants, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced 72 awards totaling $584 million will be distributed in the sixth round of the multimodal, discretionary grant program. Of those, seven awards totaling $74,241,904, or about 13 percent of total funding, are going to projects that USDOT classifies as “maritime.”
Another $54,469,652 comprising five awards, which is equal to about 9 percent of the total funding, is going to what USDOT classifies as “freight rail” projects. Like freight rail, millions more are being awarded to various road and planning projects which aid in the movement of freight into and out of America’s seaports.
On the U.S. DOT’s TIGER Grants web page, Foxx said, “As uncertainty about the future of long-term federal funding continues, this round of TIGER will be a shot in the arm for these innovative, job-creating and quality of life-enhancing projects.” He further noted that more projects could be getting done if Congress passed the GROW AMERICA Act, which the American Association of Port Authorities supports and which would double the funding available for TIGER.
AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle lauded DOT’s recognition of the critical role America’s ports play and the federal support provided in TIGER VI grants for seaports. He also noted that the 13 percent funding for maritime infrastructure projects in this round of TIGER, along with the more than 9 percent funding for freight rail and road planning and infrastructure projects, will help improve freight mobility, including connections to ports.
“AAPA urges that 25 percent of TIGER grants be provided for port-related and connector infrastructure, since ports are one of the four eligible areas (along with highways/bridges, transit and freight/passenger rail) for the TIGER program,” Nagle said. “Furthermore, AAPA strongly advocates for new and additional funding in the next surface transportation bill that prioritizes freight projects which optimize and integrate the nation’s freight transportation system.”
Since its inception as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, AAPA has been a strong supporter of the TIGER grant program. In the first round of TIGER, port-related infrastructure projects received only 7 percent of the original $1.5 billion allocated. In the subsequent rounds, port-related infrastructure did better, garnering approximately 17 percent (of the total $556.6 million) of the second round, 12 percent (of the total $511 million) of the third round, 16 percent (of the total $485.3 million) of the fourth round, and 22 percent (of the total $474 million) in the fifth round.
Projects that USDOT classified as “maritime” included in TIGER VI awards are:
Terminal 46 (T46) Modernization Project for $20,000,000 – Port of Seattle
Norfolk International Terminals for $15,000,000 – Virginia Port Authority
Port Newark Container Terminal Access Improvement and Expansion Project for $14,800,000 – County of Essex, New Jersey
Rehabilitation of Wando Welch Terminal for $10,840,000 – South Carolina State Ports Authority
BT1 Infrastructure Expansion Project for $10,000,000 – Lake Charles (TX) Harbor and Terminal
Seward Marine Terminal Expansion Planning Project for $2,500,000 – Alaska Railroad Corporation
Oil Spill Response Access Dock Phase II for the Makah Tribe for $1,101,904 – Makah Indian Tribe (WA)
Examples of other freight and port-related infrastructure projects receiving TIGER VI grants include:
Hanover Street Bridge Plan for $1,100,000 – City of Baltimore (MD), to create a corridor plan to identify feasible methods of rehabilitating or replacing the Hanover Street Bridge, a nearly 100-year-old bridge that connects the City of Baltimore to the Port of Baltimore.
The New England Central Railroad Freight Rail Project for $8,183,563 – Connecticut Department of Transportation, to complete state of good repair improvements and upgrade of rail and track infrastructure to accommodate national standard 286,000-pound gross weight rail freight cars on the 55 miles of track running through the municipalities of New London, Waterford, Montville, Norwich, Franklin, Lebanon, Windham, Mansfield, Willington and Stafford, in eastern Connecticut.
Long Bridge National Environmental Policy Act for $2,800,000 – District of Columbia Department of Transportation, to prepare for the long term replacement of the CSX-owned Long Bridge over the Potomac River.
The Northeastern NC Rail Improvement Project for $5,800,000 – North Carolina Department of Transportation, to rehabilitate portions of a 52-mile rail corridor to allow for the operation of 286,000-pound rail cars along its length, including installation of new rail, rehabilitation of four highway grade crossings, and roadbed resurfacing.
Sarah Mildred Long Bridge Project for $25,000,000 – Maine Department of Transportation, to help fund replacement of the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge between Maine and New Hampshire.