U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has announced the award of more than $241 million in discretionary grant funding for 25 projects to improve port facilities in 19 states and one territory through the Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP).
California will receive some funds through the grants unveiled on Thursday, Dec. 23.
These grants are part of the Biden-Harris Port Action Plan, which is designed to strengthen supply chains to meet demand resulting from the rapid economic recovery over the past year, and help address inflationary pressures.
“U.S. maritime ports play a critical role in our supply chains,” said Buttigieg. “These investments in our nation’s ports will help support American jobs, efficient and resilient operations, and faster delivery of goods to the American people.”
The state of California was awarded funding for two projects. The projects include Oakland’s Powering the Future Project and Long Beach’s America’s Green Gateway Phase 1: Pier B Early Rail Enhancements Project.
Oakland’s project replaces an existing electrical substation and circuit located within the port facility. Additionally, the project will construct a new on-site fuel cell facility and a solar array with battery storage and establish a direct connection between the port’s substation and the local electric utility’s biomass-fuel generator.
Long Beach’s project consists of three stand-alone components, each with independent utility. These components are a new locomotive facility, extension of the east rail yard, and extension of the west rail yard. The project will add a 10,000-foot support track within a critical freight corridor, construct a new support facility for 24 locomotives, add three new yard tracks, and extend five existing tracks to increase operational efficiency for port cargo and enhance safety for rail workers.
The PIDP is in its third year and has already awarded $492 million for 32 projects of regional and national economic significance within its first two years. The program supports efforts by ports and industry stakeholders to improve facility and freight infrastructure to ensure the nation’s freight transportation needs, present and future, are met. It provides planning and capital financing and project management assistance to improve ports’ capacity and efficiency.
The projects that were awarded grants include coastal seaports, Great Lakes ports, and inland river ports. The Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 PIDP includes priorities related to job creation, climate change, and environmental justice impacts.
“These investments will support the shift to cleaner transportation, which will create more economic activity and good paying jobs,” said the Acting Maritime Administrator Lucinda Lessley. “The Port Infrastructure Development Program is an important part of building back better for our ports, our communities, our economy, and our people.”
Going forward, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will provide $450 million annually in funding for the PIDP program for fiscal years 2022 through 2026, or a total of $2.25 billion. This is roughly the same amount of federal funding provided to ports under DOT-administered grant programs since the DOT began providing funding to ports in 2009.
All PIDP grant award recipients must apply, comply with, and implement all provisions of the Buy American Act.