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News Release
FOR RELEASE - December 11, 2018
Contact: Aaron Ellis, Public Affairs Director,
(703) 684-5700

American Association of Port Authorities
Phone: (703) 684-5700

14 Port-Related Projects Awarded $229.23 Million in BUILD 2018 Infrastructure Grants

BUILD 2018 award funding helps leverage nearly $412 million in total port-related projects

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao today (Dec. 11) announced $1.5 billion in discretionary grant funding to 91 projects in 49 states and the District of Columbia. The grants, 14 of which 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 the 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) – the unified and recognized voice of America’s seaports – said the trade association 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 Mr. 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. In prior TIGER grants, which began in fiscal 2009, port-related projects received about:

  • 8.6 percent of the original $1.5 billion in Round 1;
  • 14.6 percent of the total $600 million in Round 2;
  • 12.8 percent of the total $527 million in Round 3;
  • 13.6 percent of the total $500 million in Round 4;
  • 13.3 percent of the total $474 million in Round 5;
  • 12.4 percent of the total $600 million in Round 6;
  • 9.0 percent of the total $500 million in Round 7;
  • 12.36 percent of the total $500 million in Round 8;
  • 14.54 percent of the total $500 million in Round 9.

Seaport cargo activity throughout the nation accounts for 26 percent of U.S. GDP, over 23 million American jobs, and generates over $320 billion annually in federal, state and local tax revenues. To ensure these jobs, tax revenues and freight volumes continue to grow and support the American economy, AAPA has worked with its member ports to identify $66 billion in federal port-related infrastructure investments over the next 10 years, on both the waterside and the landside. These federal investments are necessary to supplement the approximately $155 billion in capital improvements that U.S. port authorities and their private-sector partners are planning between 2016 and 2020. 

The following 14 port-related projects were approved for 2018 BUILD grants:

$5.79 Million - Muskogee City‐County Port Authority (OK) – Port of Muskogee Rail Access. The project will construct rail and road access improvements at the Port of Muskogee, including track upgrades, expansion and realignment to meet current Class I railroad safety standards; State Highway 16 highway‐rail grade crossing modernization; and approximately 9,700 feet of additional track to expand the capacity of the existing marshalling yard.

$6.56 Million - Maryland Port Authority (MD) – Seagirt Marine Terminal Berth 3 Modernization P3 Project. This project will add a second berth capable of serving 50‐foot draft ultra large container ships at the Port of Baltimore, as well as necessary landside improvements.

$7.50 Million - Pease Development Authority, Division of Ports and Harbors (NH) – Market Street Marine Terminal Main Wharf Rehabilitation. The project will rehabilitate approximately 17,500 square feet of the Main Wharf at the Market Street Marine Terminal by replacing the deteriorating wharf access bridge and decking the area between the shoreline and the back of the Main Wharf.

$11.52 Million - Owensboro Riverport Authority (KY) – KY 331/Industrial Drive and Rinaldo Road. The project will widen and improve approximately 2.6 miles of KY 331/Industrial Drive and Rinal Road from 2nd Street into the Owensboro Riverport Intermodal Terminal and will reconstruct the CSX at‐grade railroad crossing.

$15.41 Million - New Bedford Harbor Development Commission (MA) – North Terminal Extension Project. The project will construct approximately 800 feet of additional bulkhead, backfill of the constructed bulkhead with clean material from maintenance harbor dredging, and extend three rail spurs to increase multimodal options.

$15.5 Million - Virginia Port Authority (VA) – Virginia Inland Port Terminal Optimization & Grade Separation. This project, near Front Royal, VA, will optimize the flow of traffic inside the port gate through the addition of three long loading tracks, lengthening of existing loading tracks, and acquisition of two hybrid straddle carriers. Outside the gate, this project will construct a new highway bridge grade separation.

$16.42 Million - Greater Lafourche Port Commission (LA) – Port Fourchon to Airport Connector: Bridging a Gap to Critical Rural Infrastructure. The project will construct a new three‐lane vertical lift span bridge over Bayou Lafourche and a new two‐lane, 2,000‐ft connector road extending from LA 1 to LA 3235.

$19.41 Million - Port of Morrow (OR) – Columbia River Barge Terminal Rail Access. This project will establish rail‐to‐barge transloading capability within the Port of Morrow’s barge terminals on the Columbia River in eastern Oregon.

$20 Million - Port of Coos Bay (OR) – Coos Bay Rail Line Bridge Rehabilitation Project. This project will construct improvements or replacements of approximately 15 bridges along the Coos Bay Rail Line to enhance capacity, meet FRA‐mandated Bridge Safety Standard requirements, and extend the useful life on the structures.

$20 Million - Port of Port Arthur (TX) – Berth 6 Expansion: Multimodal On-Dock Rail Project. The project extends the Port Arthur Berth 5 wharf approximately 1,000 feet to create Berth 6 as a crane‐capable pile‐supported wharf, including a tied‐back bulkhead and a cargo‐handling laydown area.

$20.7 Million - City of Sault Ste. Marie (MI) – Carbide Dock Port Rehabilitation and Truck Route Reconstruction. The project will rehabilitate the Carbide Dock Port and reconstruct a portion of the connecting truck route on Easterday Avenue from Interstate 75 to Barbeau Street. The project also includes intersection improvements and water/sewer replacement.

$22.25 Million - Delaware River and Bay Authority (DE/NJ) – Delaware Memorial Bridges Ship Collision Protection System. This project will install eight 80‐foot diameter sheet pile cells at the bases of the Delaware Memorial Bridges, which connect the states of Delaware and New Jersey, to better protect the structural integrity of the bridges in the event of a ship collision.

$23.17 Million - City of Emmonak (AK) – Lower Yukon River Regional Port and Road Renovation Project. This project will renovate approximately 3.5 miles of high-use service roads and construct a permanent barge/landing craft ramp and dock/wharf.

$25 Million - South Carolina Department of Transportation (SC) – Upstate Express Corridor Capacity Expansion Project. The project will make freight rail infrastructure improvements in South Carolina. It will expand the Inland Port Greer (IPG), extend the IPG lead track, and lengthen the Carlisle Siding to approximately 15,100 feet. The IPG expansion includes acquiring additional equipment for the handling, loading, and unloading of containers and the paving of up to 40 acres.

About AAPA
Founded in 1912 and recognized as the unified voice of seaports in the Americas, AAPA today represents 140 of the leading seaport authorities in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean and more than 250 sustaining and associate members, firms and individuals with an interest in seaports. According to IHS Markit’s World Trade Service, combined international sea trade moving through Western Hemisphere ports in 2016 totaled 3.49 billion metric tons in volume and US$3.01 trillion in value. Of that total, ports in Central and South America handled 1.71 billion metric tons of cargo valued at US$941 billion, while North American ports handled 1.79 billion metric tons of goods, valued at US$2.07 trillion. To meet the growing demand for trade, the AAPA and its members are committed to keeping seaports navigable, secure and sustainable.  For more information, visit On Twitter:

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