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MARAD Awards $703 Million in Port Development Grants for 2022

MARAD port grants
Secretary Buttigieg at the Port of Los Angeles in 2021 as part of the focus on investing in port infrastructure (Port of LA photo)

Published Oct 28, 2022 6:16 PM by The Maritime Executive

The U.S. Maritime Administration detailed an additional $703 million in grants to improve port infrastructure and strengthen the national supply chains as part of the bipartisan infrastructure investments approved by the U.S. Congress in 2021 and additional appropriation legislation. The grants will fund 41 projects in 22 states and one territory that will improve port facilities through the Maritime Administration’s Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP).

The goal of the program was to increase port capacity and modernize and expand the operations as well as reduce port emissions while enhancing the U.S.’s supply chains. The effort came in part due to the surge in cargo volumes and the long backlogs that developed at the major ports as well as an effort to make up for years of neglected investment in U.S. infrastructure. The grants were available both to coastal seaports, Great Lakes ports, and inland river ports, and also focused on new port development such as the efforts to build out ports for the developing offshore wind sector.

“So many of the goods we all count on, from appliances to furniture to clothes, move through our nation’s ports on their way to us,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg announcing the new round of awards. “Using funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this year we're awarding record levels of funding to improve our port infrastructure, strengthen our supply chains, and help cut costs for American families.”

The American Association of Port Authorities highlights that the expanded funding from the 2021 legislation will continue to augment the PIDP efforts for the next several years, through Federal Fiscal Year 2026. AAPA extended its gratitude to its Congressional partners who continued to advocate for additional port funding noting that the grants encompass a great range of sizes, from $68.7 million for a shoreline reconstruction project at the Port of Alaska in Anchorage, Alaska to $353,500 for the Putnam County Port Development Plan Project in Palatka, Florida. The monies are being used to rehabilitate and upgrade rail links, improve truck routes, strengthen docks and expand port facilities. A focus also included electrification projects ranging from cold ironing capabilities to electric infrastructure and electric equipment.

More than $150 million in awards include a focus on the electrification of port equipment to reduce emissions and improve air quality. The awards also include nearly $100 million for port projects that will advance offshore wind deployment. 

Among the largest grants is nearly $34 million to be used as part of the development of the Salem Wind Port in Massachusetts, which will redevelop a vacant industrial facility into a marshalling area for offshore wind energy projects. Jacksonville, Florida receives $23.5 million much of which will be used in electrification and the purchase of electric equipment, while $25 million will be used at the Port of Camden (New Jersey) for road and truck access.

Details about the PIDP program and a complete list of the 2022 grants are on the MARAD website.