Critical importance of connective infrastructure to Americas seaports recognized
U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx announced 72 awards totaling $584 million will be distributed in the sixth round of this multimodal, discretionary grant program. Of those, seven awards totaling $74,241,904, or about 13 percent of total funding, are going to projects that USDOT classifies as “maritime.”
Another $54,469,652 comprising five awards, which is equal to about 9 percent of the total funding, is going to what USDOT classifies as “freight rail” projects. Like freight rail, millions more are being awarded to various road and planning projects which aid in the movement of freight into and out of America’s seaports.
On the U.S. DOT’sTIGER Grants web page, Sec. Foxx said, “As uncertainty about the future of long-term federal funding continues, this round of TIGER will be a shot in the arm for these innovative, job-creating and quality of life-enhancing projects.” He further noted that more projects could be getting done if Congress passed the GROW AMERICA Act, which AAPA supports and which would double the funding available for TIGER.
American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) President and CEO Kurt Nagle lauded DOT’s recognition of the critical role America’s ports play and the federal support provided in TIGER VI grants for seaports. He also noted that the 13 percent funding for maritime infrastructure projects in this round of TIGER, along with the more than 9 percent funding for freight rail and road planning and infrastructure projects, will help improve freight mobility, including connections to ports.
“AAPA urges that 25 percent of TIGER grants be provided for port-related and connector infrastructure, since ports are one of the four eligible areas (along with highways/bridges, transit, and freight/passenger rail) for the TIGER program,” said Mr. Nagle. “Furthermore, AAPA strongly advocates for new and additional funding in the next surface transportation bill that prioritizes freight projects which optimize and integrate the nation’s freight transportation system.”
Since its inception as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, AAPA has been a strong supporter of the TIGER grant program. In the first round of TIGER, port-related infrastructure projects received only 7 percent of the original $1.5 billion allocated. In the subsequent rounds, port-related infrastructure did better, garnering approximately 17 percent (of the total $556.6 million) of the second round, 12 percent (of the total $511 million) of the third round, 16 percent (of the total $485.3 million) of the fourth round, and 22 percent (of the total $474 million) in the fifth round.
Projects that USDOT classified as “maritime” included in TIGER VI awards are: