CALVERTON, Md. — More than $728 million is on the way to communities around the nation to bolster intermodal freight infrastructure.
The money is coming through the U.S. Department of Transportation, which has selected 37 projects to be given funds made available by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s (BIL) Mega Program and the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) Grant Program.
Multiple members of the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) were the recipients of the funds.
The Mega Program, also known as the National Infrastructure Project Assistance program, funds large, complex projects that are difficult to fund by other means and likely to generate national or regional economic, mobility or safety benefits.
Congress established the program in 2021 through the BIL and dedicated $5 billion to the program over a five-year period. The most recent awards were the second round of funding, worth roughly $2 billion.
INFRA is a competitive grant program that provides funding for multimodal freight and highway projects of national or regional significance to improve the safety, efficiency and reliability of the movement of freight and people in and across rural and urban areas.
The most recent annual program funding amount is $3.1 billion and the annual award amount is $1.5 billion.
“Every American relies upon and benefits from a safe and effective intermodal freight network,” said IANA President and CEO Joni Casey. “We applaud Congress for allocating these funds through the BIL and the Administration for awarding projects that will support and spur economic growth.”
Four IANA member projects were successful in this round of Mega and INFRA funding:
America’s Green Gateway: Pier B Rail Program Buildout, Long Beach, California
IANA Member: Port of Long Beach; Port of Los Angeles
The project will complete the Pier B On-Dock Rail support Facility Program by significantly enhancing container-on-rail service to and from the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.
St. Lucie River Railroad Bridge Replacement Project, City of Stuart, Florida
IANA Member: Florida East Coast Railway
The project will replace the existing 100-year-old St. Lucie River Railroad Bridge with a new double-track structure. By diverting freight traffic to rail, the project will increase safety for marine traffic, decrease the potential for blocked grade crossings and vehicle collisions and shift single occupancy vehicles to safer passenger rail travel.
East River Berth Replacement Project, Garden City, Georgia
IANA Member: Georgia Ports Authority
The project will replace a port berth and two vessel berths at the Port of Brunswick’s East River Terminal and will also reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by supporting a modal shift from truck to rail for the transportation of commodities to the Port of Brunswick.
Louisiana International Terminal Project, St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana
IANA Member: Port of New Orleans
The project will construct a new container terminal on the Gulf Coast for the Port of New Orleans that is not air-draft restricted and can accommodate larger vessels.
Born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and raised in East Texas, John Worthen returned to his home state to attend college in 1998 and decided to make his life in The Natural State. Worthen is a 20-year veteran of the journalism industry and has covered just about every topic there is. He has a passion for writing and telling stories. He has worked as a beat reporter and bureau chief for a statewide newspaper and as managing editor of a regional newspaper in Arkansas. Additionally, Worthen has been a prolific freelance journalist for two decades, and has been published in several travel magazines and on travel websites.