LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Modernization is one the way for the Helena Harbor after a grant award was announced Friday.

The United States Department of Transportation has awarded the port $6,412,652 for upgrades to its infrastructure. The upgrades will encompass an earthquake-proof water tower to support the port’s water supply and firefighting systems and the construction of a rail spur connecting the port to the North American Rail network.

The grant was awarded from DOT’s Maritime Administration’s Port Infrastructure Development Program. Funding for that program comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed late last year, coupled with additional congressional appropriations.

Funding from the program targets strengthening the supply chain, United States Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said.

“So many of the goods we all count on, from appliances to furniture to clothes, move through our nation’s ports on their way to us,” Buttigieg said. “This year we’re awarding record levels of funding to improve our port infrastructure, strengthen our supply chains and help cut costs for American families.”  

Helena Harbor is a 4,000-acre industrial park along a 2-and-a-quarter mile 9-foot-deep slack water harbor, roughly 65 miles south of Memphis.