Beaumont Receives $18 Million Infrastructure Investment

Port of Beaumont
Port of Beaumont

Published Nov 16, 2019 3:42 PM by The Maritime Executive

U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration Administrator Admiral Mark Buzby has formally presented a check for $18 million to Beaumont for the Port of Beaumont Multimodal Corridor Expansion and Improvement Project. 

The Multimodal Corridor Expansion and Improvement Project reconstructs condemned wharves 2, 3, and 4 at the Main Street Terminal 1, adds approximately 16,000 linear feet of new rail track and realigns and upgrades approximately 4,275 feet of existing rail track at the Buford Rail Yard Interchange, and replaces a deteriorated grain dock. By reconstructing wharves originally built in the 1950s that failed in 2011 due to age-related structural deterioration, the project will bring the Main Street Terminal into a state of good repair to restore dock service to handle military, breakbulk and project cargoes. Similarly, the project will replace the grain dock, which is past its useful life.

The project increases economic competitiveness by doubling rail interchange capacity and adding general cargo handling capacity to reduce freight shipment costs and facilitate direct intermodal interchange and transfer at the Port of Beaumont, particularly for grain exports. By increasing capacity and efficiency for water-based and rail freight movement, the project decreases heavy truck traffic and emissions, aligning with safety and environmental sustainability respectively. 

“This investment in the Port of Beaumont supports America’s national and economic security. By investing in ports, we’re strengthening the U.S. maritime industry, which supports hundreds of thousands of good paying American jobs. As homeport to three of our Ready Reserve Fleet vessels, the Port supports sealift, which ensures that the U.S. can protect itself and its interests around the globe,” said Buzby.

The Port closed out FY 2018-2019 with operating revenues exceeding $24 million, a 42 increase increase over the previous year. Cargo volume, increased more than 71 percent, and almost every cargo segment has seen double digit growth year-over-year.

To reflect the Administration’s ongoing effort to rebalance historic under-investment in rural America, DOT has awarded 50 percent of Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation grant funding to projects located in rural areas. For this round of BUILD grants, the maximum grant award is $25 million.

While in Beaumont, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao announced that the Trump Administration will invest $900 million in American infrastructure through the BUILD program.

“The Administration is targeting BUILD Transportation grants to repair, rebuild and revitalize significant infrastructure projects across the country,” said Chao. Fiscal Year 2019 BUILD Transportation grants are for investments in surface transportation infrastructure and have been awarded on a competitive basis to projects with a significant impact in their local or regional communities. BUILD funding supports roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports or intermodal transportation.  

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded a $25 million grant to the Port of Alaska (Anchorage's seaport) under the BUILD program. The funds are going towards the first phase of the port's modernization program - in particular, the renovation of its cement and petroleum dock, which is falling into disrepair. 

The Jacksonville Port Authority (Jaxport) has also received a $20 million grant to rebuild over 100 acres of existing terminal pavement at the SSA Jacksonville Container Terminal.