U.S. Bill Aims to Boost Spending on Ports

The Maritime Executive |

October 25, 2018

U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) has introduced a bill (S.3587) to improve the nation’s freight systems by making key investments in ports, railways and intermodal hubs by changing the funding arrangements in the Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects Program, which was created as part of Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act). The bill would allow ports and railways to compete for more grant funding from the Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects Program, or INFRA Grants.

“In the U.S., our freight network moves 49 million tons of goods every day, which are worth more than $52.5 billion,” said Carper. “The economic importance of freight movement cannot be overstated, and our ports, railways, and intermodal hubs are a critical part of the multimodal freight system. Regrettably, as a country, we haven’t been making investments in our national transportation system that we need to.”

While the discretionary INFRA grants make critical investments in freight projects, they are largely limited to highway projects, he said. “My bill would remove this limitation and allow ports and railways to compete on equal grounds. We should be investing in the best quality projects that will keep our country moving, and that’s what I intend to do with this bill.”

The bill has been endorsed by the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors (CAGTC) and the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA).

“The American Association of Port Authorities strongly supports Senator Carper’s legislative initiative that repeals the multimodal cap on the discretionary grant program created in the FAST Act,” said AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle. “Sustainable multimodal funding is a top AAPA priority and the association greatly appreciates the senator’s work to advance legislation that is both timely and very much needed.”

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