October 2, 2022
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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration or MARAD is making nearly $450 million in grants available for port-related projects through its Port Infrastructure Development Program or PIDP – nearly double the funding amount offered in 2021.

[Above photo by the Port of Baltimore]

MARAD noted that the application deadline for this round of PIDP grants is May 16.

The agency added that the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act – signed into law in November 2021 – provides an additional $17 billion in funding to support port and waterway investment.

Lucinda Lessley. Photo via MARAD.

“[These] historic investments will help remove bottlenecks by enabling ports to expand capacity and improve intermodal connections,” noted Lucinda Lessley, MARAD’s acting administrator, in a statement.

“The grant funds will also create new jobs across the U.S. maritime industry,” she said.

MARAD said it plans to provide “technical assistance” via a series of webinars to help organizations navigate the PIDP grant application process. Click here to view the dates for those webinars.

Interestingly, ports are the one area showing significant improvement within the report compiled by the American Society of Civil Engineers every four years on the state of U.S. infrastructure.

ASCE’s 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure gave U.S. infrastructure an overall C- grade, which marked an improvement over the D+ grade from the group’s 2017 report card. It is also highest overall infrastructure grade noted by ASCE’s report in some 20 years.

Issued in June 2021 and using an A to F school report card format, ASCE’s latest report assessed current infrastructure conditions and needs across 17 categories.

The individual 2021 grades ranged from a “B” for rail to a “D- “for transit. Despite incremental gains, 11 of the 17 categories received a grade in the “D” range, including roads, while five category grades – aviation (D+), drinking water (C-), energy (C-), inland waterways (D+), and ports (B-) – increased from its 2017 report.

editor@aashto.org

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