MARAD Designates Four New Marine Highway Projects

marine highway
The port at Yakutat is one of four new designated Marine Highway projects (Eli Duke / CC BY SA 2.0)

Published Jun 8, 2022 5:02 PM by The Maritime Executive

The U.S. Maritime Administration has added four new Marine Highway Projects to its list of designated waterway transport routes, including new projects in North Carolina, Alaska and Puerto Rico. The designation means that these projects can now apply for federal funding to help address supply chain challenges. 

“We’re pleased to make four new marine highway projects eligible for federal funding so they can move more goods more efficiently,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “We are using resources from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to make historic investments in our nation’s marine highways - part of our continuing action to address global supply chain disruptions and lower costs for American families.” 

In March, MARAD announced a new allocation of nearly $25 million in Marine Highway grant funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The FY2022 budget added another $14.8 million for the program. Taken together, this amounts to the most funding for Marine Highways in the program's history.

The projects include:

- Riverbulk Steel Shuttle in North Carolina, an existing barge service that transports steel plates from Edenton, NC to Norfolk, Baltimore, Wilmington, Philadelphia, and ports in New Jersey. The designee is expected to seek funding to buy a new barge.

- Port repairs at Yakutat, Alaska. The port serves fishing vessels, freighters and other commercial vessels, and the port's proposed project will include an extension of the dock to handle larger vessels.

- The CMA CGM cargo terminal at Unalaska in the Aleutian Islands. The terminal supports a barge run connecting Kodiak, Seward, and Valdez, and the improvements would result in a 20 percent increase in cargo volume.

- Improvements to create reliable routes connecting Ceiba, Puerto Rico with the islands of Culebra and Vieques. Currently, a ferry service is the only way to bring freight to the islands.