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Port projects pull in nearly $57M in infrastructure grants

RAISE program federal funding for all projects totals more than $2B

Increasing intermodal rail capacity at select ports and developing inland ports are among the goals of projects receiving millions in federal grant money.

The funding came from the RAISE grant program, which stands for Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity. The program, administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation, awarded more than $2.2 billion to projects nationwide to “modernize roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports and intermodal transportation and make our transportation systems safer, more accessible, more affordable and more sustainable,” according to a Friday news release.

Among the grants with a railroad or port component were:

  • $25 million for the Victory Project in Nevada.

Funding will be used to complete the planning, environmental studies, engineering design and construction of a stretch of the Nevada Pacific Parkway connecting I-80 and Highway 50. The funding will cover the roadway and bridge component, which will include a new switch off the Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP) to facilitate the creation of a rail switching yard. This project will create an inland port with capacity for rail switching as well as access to both UP and BNSF (NYSE: BRK.B).

“The project will create a state-of-the-art, dedicated and safe area for loading and discharging containers on and off the rail at the port to reduce vehicle miles traveled and support efficient transportation design,” DOT said. “The project will divert nearly 250,000 container boxes from trucks to rail over the next decade. This will speed up the movement of goods to and from the port and benefit the local and regional populations by creating new jobs.”

  • $16 million for cargo mobility optimization and intermodal rail capacity expansion at Port Miami.

The project, which will be spearheaded by Miami-Dade County, includes the construction of 3,200-foot-long rail tracks and the acquisition of three new electric rubber-tired cranes.

  • $13.6 million for multimodal laydown and transportation infrastructure improvements at the Port of Port Arthur in Texas. 

The Port Arthur Navigation District is seeking to convert an abandoned rail yard into a modern cargo storage and staging area. DOT said the area will reduce truck idling and emissions and improve freight mobility and multimodal transfer capabilities.

  • $1.79 million for a Lincoln County rural planning project in Wyoming. 

Lincoln County will develop a plan to improve several aspects of transportation in Wyoming, including upgrading the freight rail system, providing electric vehicle charging stations and improving public transit, DOT said. This will include finding areas “ripe for freight access,” as well as determining optimum locations charging and/or fueling stations. 

  • $445,000 for development of a multimodal logistics center in Utah.

The Utah Inland Port Authority will use the funding for a market assessment and business case analysis for a multimodal logistics center and related infrastructure needs in southern Utah. The project is designed to reduce truck transport and expand the capabilities of freight rail movement as well as improve air quality from the modal shift. 

The full list of awardees plus project descriptions can be found here.

According to RAISE program guidelines, 50% of funding must be designated for projects in rural areas and 50% must be for projects in urban areas. 

The RAISE grant program was formerly known as BUILD grants and TIGER grants in past iterations under previous White House administrations.

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Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily.