The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) awarded $9.5 million in grants to eight marine highway projects. The funding supports the enhancement of navigable waterways and expands existing waterborne freight services in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington and American Samoa. Of the eight projects that were awarded grants, seven are located in Opportunity Zones, which were created to revitalize low-income and economically distressed communities using private investment.
In Oregon and Washington, the largest grant — more than a third of total funds — was awarded to expand barge services from the Port of Morrow in Boardman, Ore., to Vancouver, Wash. The $3.2 million grant will support an expansion that includes the procurement of a new barge capable of handling a combination of containers that will ultimately alleviate area traffic by diverting freight to the underutilized M-84 corridor. The project is sponsored by the Port of Morrow, Tidewater Barge Lines, Inc.