U.S. Department of Transportation launches Port Infrastructure Development Program
“This major investment in the Port Infrastructure Development Program will help strengthen, modernize, and improve our country’s maritime systems and gateway ports,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
As the Administration continues to invest in America’s infrastructure, this new program aims to support public coastal ports by improving the safety, efficiency, or reliability of goods movement into, out of, or within a port.
Investments in port transportation infrastructure will be awarded on a competitive basis for projects located either within the boundary of a coastal seaport, or outside the boundary of a coastal seaport, and directly relate to port operations or to an intermodal connection to a port.
The Department will evaluate projects using criteria which include leveraging federal funds, project costs and benefits, project outcomes, project readiness, and domestic preference. The Department will also consider geographic diversity when selecting grant recipients.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2019 made available $292.7 million for the Port Infrastructure Development Program, including $92.7 million for the 15 coastal seaports that handled the greatest number of loaded foreign and domestic twenty-foot equivalent units of containerized cargo in 2016, as identified by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The minimum award size is $10 million, with a federal cost share not to exceed 80 percent.
Additionally, the Department anticipates awarding funding to at least one project that advances each of the following project outcomes:
Advance technology supported safety, design efficiency improvements
Improve state of good repair and resiliency
Promote efficient energy trade
Promote manufacturing, agriculture, or other forms of exports
For only the top 15 coastal ports, a project that supports the safe flow of agricultural and food products, free of pests and disease, domestically and internationally
To provide technical assistance, DOT will host a series of webinars during the Port Infrastructure Development Program grant application process. ■