Trade Corridor Bulletin Vol. 16. No. 5

The Trade Corridor Bulletin

Volume 16 – No. 5 | September 2022

CAGTC Members Earn 20 Percent of FY22 INFRA Awards

Highway and Multimodal Freight Projects of National Significance Receive $1.5 Billion in Total INFRA Funding

On September 15, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) awarded 26 projects funding through the fiscal year 2022 Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) competitive grant program. Among the recipients are five projects sponsored or supported by members of the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors (CAGTC), including a $150 million award for the California Department of Transportation and San Diego Association of Governments’ Otay Mesa East Port of Entry Project – the largest individual grant awarded among this year’s INFRA recipients. Additionally, our engineering and consulting members developed or contributed to several other successful awards.

The INFRA program provides much-needed federal funding to advance multimodal freight and highway projects of national or regional significance. Recognizing the importance of discretionary multimodal freight investment, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) allocated more than $1.5 billion for FY22 INFRA grants – an increase of 67 percent over recent annual funding amounts. Moreover, the BIL raised the amount of funding available to non-highway freight projects from 11 percent to 30 percent annually, allowing for increased investment across our nation’s multimodal freight system.

“The INFRA program is a critical resource to address large-scale freight infrastructure needs,” said CAGTC Executive Director Elaine Nessle. “The increased funding and additional flexibility for multimodal freight projects provided by the BIL will offer wideranging benefits at a pivotal time for our strained supply chains. Strategic investments in freight infrastructure will improve goods movement capacity and efficiency, spur economic growth, and support job creation. We congratulate our members who received INFRA awards and look forward to our continued engagement with USDOT throughout the implementation of BIL funding and programs.”

The California Department of Transportation/ San Diego Association of Governments’ (SANDAG) Otay Mesa East Port of Entry Project will receive $150 million to construct a new toll road (State Route 11) and Port of Entry facility. It also includes inspection equipment for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, zero-emission chargers for staff vehicles, a Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Facility to be used by the California Highway Patrol and FMCSA, and deployment of intelligent transportation systems throughout the Port of Entry.

“SANDAG is pleased to learn about this vital investment to support construction of the Otay Mesa East Port of Entry,” said SANDAG Deputy CEO and CAGTC Board Member Coleen Clementson. “It is a great example of what can be accomplished when federal, state, and local partners align to strengthen the nation’s supply chain by shortening border wait-times and greenhouse gas emissions, transforming the way people and goods move throughout the San Diego region.”

The Illinois Department of Transportation will receive $70 million for the CREATE WA-1 Segment: Ogden Junction project. The project is supported by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) and the City of Chicago. The project will rehabilitate railroad track, upgrade signaling, and replace, remove, or rehabilitate 18 viaduct structures on an approximate 1.9-mile-long segment of the Western Avenue Rail corridor from Kedzie to 16th street. Approximately 10,000 feet of new track will be constructed and approximately 31,000 feet of track will be shifted. New power turnouts and crossovers will enable an automated path to be controlled by the dispatcher and new friction management equipment will be installed.

“The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has created so many new opportunities for projects that will make our transportation systems safer and more resilient. We are proud of the INFRA grant awarded to the CREATE Program, a first of its kind partnership dedicated to improving rail safety and efficiency throughout the region,” said CMAP Executive Director and CAGTC Board of Directors Treasurer Erin Aleman. “The award for the Ogden Junction project brings us one step closer toward improvements in faster freight and supply chains, and decreasing congestion for those living along rail corridors.”

The Tennessee Department of Transportation’s I-40 Truck Parking and Bridges Replacement project will receive $22.6 million to upgrade welcome center ramps to meet current standards, add approximately 125 truck parking spaces, and upgrade the adjacent bridge structures on I-40 over the Caney Fork River.

“Given the significant movement of freight along interstates in Tennessee, it is critical that we invest in truck parking and rest areas,” said Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner Butch Eley. “As a fast growing state at the center of commerce and industry for our nation, Tennessee stands ready to respond to growth in travel and ensure safe movement of goods, freight and people throughout Tennessee.”

The Florida Department of Transportation will receive $15 million for its I-4 West Central Florida Truck Parking Facility project. The project will construct a new truck parking facility with approximately 120 spaces, electric charging stations, and pedestrian infrastructure to access nearby commercial amenities. The truck parking facility will be connected to FDOT’s Truck Parking Availability System to help commercial vehicle operators find available parking locations and will include at least six electrical hookups to provide stand-by power for refrigerated trucks and auxiliary power for in-cab comforts.

The Washington State Department of Transportation will be awarded $25 million for its Salmon Bay Bridge Rehabilitation Project. The project will rehabilitate the movable span of the Salmon Bay Bridge by replacing the counterweight, the counterweight truss, six of the eight bearings, and the counterweight links with steel members with a high resistance to fatigue.

Industry News

Intermodal EXPO Signals Industry Strength with 2,000+ Turnout

Congressman Alan Lowenthal received the Intermodal Achievement Award, presented by IANA Chairman and Deputy Director of the Port of Long Beach, Dr. Noel Hacegaba. Source: Port of Long Beach Twitter

The Intermodal Association of North America welcomed over 2,000 freight leaders to Long Beach, California for the 2022 Intermodal EXPO on September 12-14. Alongside signature networking and the Exhibit Hall showcase, the event discussions focused on the ongoing supply chain challenges and opportunities that have captured public interest.

Against the backdrop of the Port of Long Beach, Dr. Noel Hacegaba, IANA’s chairman and deputy director of the Port, kicked EXPO off by sharing a Congressional resolution recognizing Sept. 13 as “Intermodal Day”. The proclamation affirmed the intermodal industry’s contribution to the movement of freight and to a vibrant United States economy.

Intermodal EXPO’s first general session, “Inside Intermodal”, which was led by John Larkin of Clarendon Capital, offered thoughts and insights on intermodal’s directional arrows from the perspectives of 3PLs, motor carriers, rail and marine. This piece of the program also included the presentation of the Association’s three industry awards: the Silver Kingpin Award – Ted Prince; the Chairman’s Award – Jim Newsome; and the Intermodal Achievement Award – Congressman Alan Lowenthal.

Read the full release here.

Industry News

Biden-Harris Administration, USDOT Make an Unprecedented $1.4 Billion in Rail Grants Available Through Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

On September 1, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) announcing the availability of over $1.4 billion in Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement (CRISI) Grant funding. The CRISI Program, which is administered by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), advances projects that modernize America’s freight and passenger rail infrastructure, allowing people and goods to move more safely and efficiently and helping make goods more affordable for American families. This year, President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law more than triples funding for the CRISI Program – a much-needed step to meet the heavy demand for rail funding from States and local communities. The program allocates at least 25% of total funds for projects in rural areas.

"Freight rail is a critical part of our supply chains, and when shipping costs come down, families pay less for goods,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. "Because of President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we're thrilled to announce the biggest-round of funding ever to make both passenger and freight trains across America safer, faster, and more reliable.”

Higher funding levels enabled by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will also accelerate progress in building up infrastructure resilience and strengthening the supply chain, which in turns makes it less expensive to transport goods. The influx of new grant opportunities will allow FRA to invest in a wide range of projects that will mitigate passenger and freight rail congestion; enhance multi-modal connections; and improve and establish new intercity passenger rail corridors. Furthermore, CRISI grants are a major source of funding for short line railroads, whose operations bolster local economies and are crucial for supply chain fluidity. These nationwide investments will advance the Department’s key goals of infrastructure safety, efficiency, economic vitality, equity, and resiliency.

“Projects funded by these CRISI grants will generate economic opportunities and improve the travel experience in communities across America, whether urban or rural, large or small,” said FRA Administrator Amit Bose. “With the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s massive boost to the CRISI Program, the funding made available will help launch our country’s new rail revolution and maintain our rail network’s unmatched standards for safety and efficiency.”

In addition to projects that improve and expand freight and passenger rail infrastructure, CRISI grants will focus on safety projects such as grade crossing enhancements and rail line relocations and improvements as well as other priorities, including workforce development and training, regional rail and corridor planning, environmental analyses, and research and deployment of railroad safety technology. New project eligibilities also include measures to prevent trespassing and to rehabilitate, remanufacture, procure, or overhaul locomotives for emissions reduction projects.

Read the full release here.

Member News

Port Tampa Bay Receives $12.6 Million in RAISE Funding to Expand Port Redwing

USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Deputy Secretary Polly Trottenberg visit Port Tampa Bay to present CAGTC Chairman and Port Tampa Bay CEO Paul Anderson, along with local elected officials, with a RAISE award.

Port Tampa Bay will receive $12.6 million in grant funding, from the U.S. Department of Transportation to expand and diversify a berth at fast-growing Port Redwing. The port’s funding allocation is part of $1.5 billion in grant funding made available through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grant program.

Port Tampa Bay will use RAISE funding to create Berth 301 at our satellite facility, Port Redwing. The new berth will provide room for a third large ship to be worked efficiently.

“The berth 301 project will have a generational impact on our community in terms of economic development and well-paying jobs. Port Redwing has seen tremendous growth since the deepening and expansion of the Big Bend Channel. As our community continues to see record population growth, it is important to provide an efficient way to move construction and other bulk cargoes. This project optimizes supply chain economics and helps keep wear and tear on roads to a minimum,” explains Paul Anderson, Port Tampa Bay CEO & President.

In the past 12 months, the port handled over 1 million tons at Port Redwing. Port tenants and customers, including The Mosaic Company, Logistec, SESCO, Ardent Mills, and Precision Build Solutions/Tampa Tank/Florida Structural Steel. will directly benefit from this project, as they are able to diversify their operations and make long-term plans and commitments to serving our region. The project makes an important and immediate economic difference for West and Central Florida’s non-containerized industries – including  cement, prilled sulfur, aggregates, steel, food and agriculture, wallboard and construction, and project cargo, among others.

Read the full release here.

Member News

U.S. Transportation Secretary Buttigieg Announces $20 Million Federal Grant to Port of Los Angeles

USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg visits the Port of Los Angeles to celebrate a $20 million RAISE award. Source: Port of Los Angeles Twitter

On September 7, the Port of Los Angeles and a range of elected officials and industry leaders joined U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to celebrate the award of a $20 million federal RAISE infrastructure grant for a critical road-railway grade separation project at the Port.

“We’re proud to be here marking such important progress being made, but also recognizing that there is so much more to do to fix the supply chains that were torn up by the pandemic and to make them more resilient for years to come – and right here we have a great example of that,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “We are delighted to formally celebrate the award of $20 million to the Port of Los Angeles to reduce trucking delays and allow freight trains to move goods more rapidly, reducing shipping costs as part of the fight against inflation.”

Facilitating faster cargo movement, the new roadway configuration will streamline truck access to an important container and chassis-access facility on the Port’s Terminal Island, reducing traffic delays, truck dwell times and greenhouse gas emissions from idling vehicles.

“L.A.’s port isn’t just the backbone of our region’s prosperity — it’s one of America’s most powerful economic drivers, and a crossroads that helps connect our country to the rest of the world,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “When complete, this roadway made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Secretary Buttigieg’s leadership will help our port move cargo more efficiently and meet our most critical sustainability goals.”

Read the full release here.

Research News

Eno Launches New Research Initiative to Help Define Parameters for a National VMT Fee Pilot

What if we charged drivers by the miles they drove rather than the gallons of fuel their cars consume? Perhaps more importantly, how would such a system work and what would the challenges be if we scaled it to a system that spanned the country? Eno will be exploring these questions in a new research program aimed at informing a national pilot that could be the foundation for a future transportation funding paradigm.

Eno will lead research to create a series of key performance indicators that can measure how well the pilot works in terms of administrative costs, participant satisfaction, social equity, and other factors as determined through our previous work. The performance indicators will include a discussion of the rationale, the data needed to evaluate them, and benchmarks to determine success.

Read the full article here.