The Maritime Administration awarded more than $4.8 million in grants Aug. 8 to help fund six “marine highway” projects serving ports in Louisiana, Virginia, New York, and Connecticut, while also supporting the development of new container-on-barge services in Kentucky and Rhode Island.
The agency noted that the marine highway program “supports the expanded use of navigable waterways” to relieve landside congestion, provides more “modal choice” to shippers, and provides a public benefit by reducing road maintenance costs as freight is shifted away from highways to waterways.
“These marine highway grants will help expand freight movement on the water and modernize our inland ports and waterways,” noted MARAD Administrator Mark Buzby in a statement.
Projects receiving grant funding include:
- Port of Baton Rouge and Port of New Orleans Container-on-Barge: More than $2.5 million to purchase marine terminal and handling equipment for efficient loading and unloading of container-on-barge operations in New Orleans.
- Davisville/Brooklyn/Newark Container-on-Barge Service: Awarded $855,200 to establish barge service between Brooklyn, New York, Newark, New Jersey and the Port of Davisville in Rhode Island. The service will include a dedicated run twice a week with one 800-ton equivalent unit capacity deck barge and will remove approximately 83,200 containers and more than 14.9 million vehicular miles annually from nearby roadways.
- James River Expansion Project on the M-64: sponsored by the Port of Virginia, the $456,000 will maintain a three-times-a-week schedule between Hampton Roads and the Richmond Marine Terminal.
- Cross Sound Enhancement Project: Sponsored by the Connecticut Port Authority, the $503,250 grant will expand the ferry dock and supporting infrastructure, along with shore-side infrastructure improvements and more efficient direction of vehicular traffic.