Transportation Secretary Buttigieg announces grants for America’s ports in Arkansas


FILE – In this Jan. 21, 2021, file photo, Transportation Secretary nominee Pete Buttigieg speaks during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Stefani Reynolds/Pool via AP)

WASHINGTON (KNWA/KFTA) — The U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary today announced the award of more than $241 million in discretionary grant funding for 25 projects to improve port facilities in 19 states and one territory through the Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP). 

The state of Arkansas was awarded funding for the Port of Little Rock Mooring Upgrade project. The project will restore and expand the port’s current barge fleeting capacity on the Arkansas River, which is part of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigational System (MKARNS).

The project will replace fifteen unsafe deadman ground anchors that are near the end of their useful lives with steel monopile dolphins. It will install an additional thirty-two dolphins in other locations.

These grants are part of the Biden-Harris Port Action Plan, which will strengthen supply chains to meet demand resulting from the rapid economic recovery over the past year, and help address inflationary pressures.

“U.S. maritime ports play a critical role in our supply chains,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. “These investments in our nation’s ports will help support American jobs, efficient and resilient operations, and faster delivery of goods to the American people.”

The PIDP is in its third year and has already awarded $492 million for 32 projects of regional and national economic significance within its first two years. The program supports efforts by ports and industry stakeholders to improve facility and freight infrastructure to ensure the Nation’s freight transportation needs, present and future, are met. It provides planning and capital financing and project management assistance to improve ports’ capacity and efficiency. 

The projects that were awarded grants include coastal seaports, Great Lakes ports and inland river ports. The Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 PIDP includes priorities related to job creation, climate change and environmental justice impacts.

A full list of 2021 PIDP grant recipients can be found here.

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