US DOT Announces Port Funding Program
Announced earlier this month, $225 million in discretionary grant funding has been made available by the United States Department of Transportation through a Notice of Funding Opportunity.
The funding is provided through the Port Infrastructure Development Program, which was made available through the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020. The act also reserves $200 million for grants to coastal seaports and Great Lakes ports.
About the Program
According to the Maritime Administration, the PIDP was authorized by Congress as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (Public Law 111-84) and focuses on improving safety, efficiency,and the reliability of goods movement at U.S. ports.
The program also aims to support ports and port stakeholders’ efforts to improve infrastructure and ensure future transportation needs. This program also provides planning, stakeholder engagement, operational and capital financing, and project management assistance to ports and port stakeholders.
Previously, in July 2019, the prgram offered $297.7 million in funding.
On the subject, Maritime Administrator Mark H. Buzby said, "Infrastructure improvement must include our nation’s economic gateways—our ports—and the roads and railways that connect them to the local and national economy."
Once applications are received, the Department plans to evaluate projects based on goods movement, federal funding leverage, net benefits, project readiness, domestic preference and geographic diversity, among other things. Additionally, the Department will also consider how the project addresses challenges faced by being rurally located and if the project is in an Opportunity Zone.
The U.S. DOT intends to award the available funding on a competitive basis to projects that are found to be in relation to coastal seaports, inland river ports, and Great Lakes ports. The minimum award size is $1 million, however federal cost share is not to exceed 80%.
As to provide technical assistance regarding the grant application process, the U.S. DOT will be hosting a series of webinars. Details and registration information regarding the webinars can be found here.
“America’s ports are a critical part of the Nation’s multimodal transportation network and this Notice of Funding Opportunity provides guidance on how to apply for these grants,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
The deadline to submit an application for the PIDP is May 18 by 8 p.m. EDT.