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Truck parking expansion wins DOT funding grants

Facilities in Florida, Tennessee receive combined $37.6 million

Grants expand capacity for desperately needed truck parking. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves).

Truck parking in Florida and Tennessee is the winner of a combined $37.6 million in competitive funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

A new $15 million project on Interstate 4 between Tampa and Orlando, Florida, creates approximately 120 parking spaces and a $22.6 million expansion project on Interstate 40 east of Nashville, Tennessee, that adds about 125 spaces.

The two projects are among 26 receiving a total of $1.5 billion in competitive grants from DOT’s Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) competitive grant program for highway, multimodal freight and rail projects.

“Today we are announcing transformative investments in our nation’s roads, bridges, ports and rail to improve the way Americans get around and help lower the costs of shipping goods,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Thursday. “Using funding from President [Joe] Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are able to support more excellent community-led projects this year than ever before.”

The infrastructure law that Biden enacted last year increased the INFRA program by more than 50%. The law provides approximately $8 billion for INFRA grants over the next five years.

In addition to new trucking capacity, the Florida I-4 facility will feature electric charging stations and pedestrian access to nearby commercial amenities, according to DOT. It also will include at least six electrical hookups for standby power for refrigerated trucks and in-cab auxiliary power.

The facility will be connected to the Florida Department of Transportation’s Truck Parking Availability System, which helps drivers identify available parking locations.

The Tennessee project includes upgrading welcome center ramps to meet current standards, as well as improving adjacent bridge structures on I-40 over the Caney Fork River in Smith County.

“The project increases access to truck parking and reduces illegally parked commercial vehicles that cause safety hazards, both supporting the National Roadway Safety Strategy and improving operations and efficiency on a critical freight corridor,” according to DOT.

Improved truck parking is also included in a $110 million grant award for the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market intermodal facility in the Bronx, a borough of New York City.

“The project will boost the economy by improving one of the largest food distribution centers in the country by widening and separating vehicular, truck, rail and pedestrian circulation and clearly establishing and expanding truck queuing and parking areas within the facility,” according to DOT, noting also that emissions will be reduced because diesel-powered truck refrigeration units will no longer idle on site. 

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John Gallagher

Based in Washington, D.C., John specializes in regulation and legislation affecting all sectors of freight transportation. He has covered rail, trucking and maritime issues since 1993 for a variety of publications based in the U.S. and the U.K. John began business reporting in 1993 at Broadcasting & Cable Magazine. He graduated from Florida State University majoring in English and business.