U.S. President Joe Biden delivers a speech during a visit to the Port of Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., November 10, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

MARAD Announces $25 Million for Marine Highways

Mike Schuler
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March 2, 2022

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) has announced the availability of $25 million in funding for the America’s Marine Highway Program (AMHP), the highest single appropriation ever provided to the program.

The AMHP supports the development and expanded use of the nation’s domestic navigable waterways, helping to improve supply chains and the movement of goods throughout the country.

“This historic funding for the Marine Highways program will expand waterborne transportation options while helping project sponsors increase energy conservation, improve safety, reduce landside infrastructure costs, and reduce travel delays caused by congestion. This investment will also create well-paying maritime jobs,” said Acting Maritime Administrator Lucinda Lessley.

The funding is made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, also known as?the Investment?in Infrastructure and Jobs Act, which provides a?record $1.2?trillion investment in the nation’s?infrastructure. $17 billion is expected to go to domestic ports and waterways, including inland ports of entry.

The availability of the marine highways grants follows $12.6 million in grants awarded through the AMHP in December to nine marine highway projects and marks the latest commitment from the Biden-Harris Administration’s Port Action Plan.

Just last week, MARAD announced the availability of $450 million in new grant funding for port-related projects through the Port Infrastructure Development Program. This is on top of the more than $241 million in discretionary grant funding awarded through the program in December to 25 projects across the country.

Also in December, the Port of Long Beach was awarded a $52.3 million grant from MARAD to help fund development of the port’s “Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility,” helping to boost on-dock rail capacity at shipping terminals.

Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and other appropriations, the administration is also allocating $14 billion in fiscal year 2022 funds ports and waterways projects, with awards to 500 projects across 52 states and territories.

“America’s waterways are a vital means for getting goods onto our shelves and into our homes,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Thanks to these investments, and others like them in the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we can help create jobs, reduce delays, and strengthen our critical supply chains for decades to come.”

Amid record congestion at Southern California ports, last fall the Department of Transportation and the State of California announced an emergency $5 billion loan to help modernize California’s ports, although the current status of the loan and what exactly the money will be spent on remains unclear.

To be eligible for a America’s Marine Highway Project grant award, a project must have previously been designated as a Marine Highway Project designated by the Secretary of Transportation.

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