U.S. DOT Awards $103 Million to Port-related Infrastructure Projects Through TIGER Grant Program

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on Thursday announced that 52 transportation projects in 37 states will receive a total of $474 million in 2013 through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s TIGER discretionary grant program.

The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or “TIGER” for short, provides the U.S. Department of Transportation with the opportunity to invest in road, rail, transit and port projects determined to have a significant impact on the Nation, a region or a metropolitan area through a rigorous vetting process. In past years, Congress dedicated $1.5 billion for TIGER I, $600 million for TIGER II, $526.944 million for FY 2011 and $500 million for the FY 2012 round of TIGER Grants.

“These transformational TIGER projects are the best argument for investment in our transportation infrastructure,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Together, they support President Obama’s call to ensure a stronger transportation system for future generations by repairing existing infrastructure, connecting people to new jobs and opportunities, and contributing to our nation’s economic growth.”

Foxx said for this year’s grants the department had received 585 applications totaling more than $9 billion in requests, and pared the list down to 52 projects.

“Every state in this nation has a to-do list,” Foxx said.

A total of 12 awards totaling $103,709,745, or about 21.9 percent of total funding, are going to projects that aid the movement of goods through America’s seaports. Meanwhile, eight projects funded at $63,001,000 will be designated for projects specific to port infrastructure improvements, including a $10 million grant to the Houston Bayport Wharf extension project which will allow the terminal to double its capacity by 2033 and ah larger ships expected after expansion of the Panama Canal.

The announcement was applauded by the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) President and CEO, Kurt Nagle, who lauded DOT’s recognition of the critical role America’s ports play and the federal support provided in TIGER V grants for seaports. He also noted that the 21.9 percent funding for port-related infrastructure projects in this round of TIGER is the closest yet to reaching AAPA’s stated goal of 25 percent.

“While funding for port-related infrastructure received a higher priority this time than in the four previous TIGER rounds, AAPA continues to advocate for a permanent authorization of a TIGER program and urges 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 program.”

Of note, rural areas were targeted for 25 projects funded at $123 million, including a $2.2 million to pave gravel streets and earth roads in the remote village of Alakanuk, Alaska, with a population 695, as Reuters reports.

The Port-specific projects are as follows and a full list of grants can be found HERE:

State: DE
Diamond State Port Corporation
Rehabilitation of Wharf Unit 1 (Berths 5/6)
$10,000,000

State: MD
Maryland Port Administration
Port of Baltimore Enhancements
$10,000,000

State: ME
Eastport Port Authority
Eastport Breakwater Replacement
$6,000,000

State: MN
Duluth Seaway Port Authority
Port of Duluth Intermodal
$10,000,000

State: MS
Jackson County Port Authority
Port of Pascagoula Intermodal Improvement
$14,000,000

State: NY
Port of Oswego Authority
Port of Oswego: East Terminal Intermodal Connector
$1,527,000

State: OR
Port of Garibaldi
Port of Garibaldi Wharf Revitalization
$1,474,761

State: TX
Port of Houston Authority
Port of Houston: Bayport Wharf
$10,000,000