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14 Port-Related Projects Awarded $229.23 Million in BUILD Infrastructure Grants

[ December 14, 2018   //   ]

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced on December 11 $1.5 billion in discretionary grant funding to 91 projects in 49 states and the District of Columbia. The grants, 14 of which will go to port-related projects, are made through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Grants program and support road, rail, transit, and port infrastructure projects across the country.
Port-related projects will receive a total of $229.23 million, or about 15.28 percent of the $1.5 billion awarded.
“BUILD transportation grants are major investments in road, rail, transit, and port projects that serve as a down payment on this administration’s commitment to America’s infrastructure,” said Secretary Chao. She noted at today’s BUILD awards ceremony, held at USDOT’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., that the number and dollar amount of port-related awards in this announcement is the greatest since BUILD and its predecessor grants program, TIGER (Transportation Infrastructure Generating Economic Recovery), was initiated.
Kurt Nagle, president and CEO of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), said that he believes it’s important for America’s seaports to be key components of USDOT’s BUILD discretionary grants program because of the critical role ports play in moving goods, sustaining jobs and bolstering the nation’s economy. He noted that direct funding for maritime infrastructure projects, including connections to ports, will improve freight mobility which helps reduce transportation costs and makes U.S. exports more attractive to overseas buyers.
“BUILD 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,” said Nagle. “We’re pleased that port-related projects garnered nearly a sixth of the total amount in this round of BUILD. The $229-plus million in port-related awards will help leverage nearly $412 million in total project costs.”
He added: “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 BUILD funding.”
Both in BUILD 2018, and in the previous nine rounds of TIGER, AAPA has consistently called for port-related projects to receive at least 25 percent of the total grant dollars.