US awards $653 million for port upgrades

WASHINGTON (AP) — The US Transportation Department has awarded $653 million in grants to upgrade and improve 41 water-based ports across the United States.

Image: Port of Los Angeles

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.

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.