Posted on November 7, 2023
The Transportation Department on Friday awarded $653 million in grants to upgrade and improve 41 water-based ports across the United States, including the Port of Baltimore.
The grants are part of the $1 trillion in infrastructure investments included in a bipartisan law signed by President Joe Biden in 2021. Biden administration officials said the projects being supported will allow ports to meet greater shipping demands as well as lowering costs for consumers and improving worker safety.
The Biden administration funding includes $47 million for berth and upland improvements to accommodate heavy project cargoes near the Port of Baltimore.
According to a Department of Transportation news release, the project will include construction of a roll-on/roll-off pad, a crane pad, ground improvements, geotechnical work and steel structures to support components used in offshore wind projects.
The funding will also support remediation and environmental mitigation work, aimed at increasing safety by removing hazardous materials such as asbestos and lead paint, and by repairing railings, stairs, fences and doors.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on a call with reporters that supply chain challenges starting in 2021 drove up prices as the United States recovered from the pandemic. He said the goal of the projects is to improve the infrastructure for ports so that they can withstand the kinds of shocks seen during the pandemic.
“Our goal is to strengthen those supply chains in a durable fashion,” Buttigieg said. “Today’s announcement is another big step in that direction.”
The grants included $43.4 million to replace a dock in Cold Bay, Alaska. The Port of Long Beach in California will receive $52.6 million for various upgrades, including a rail expansion to help move cargo. The Port of Newark in New Jersey will get $32 million to reconstruct a berth.