$9.5M in federal grants go to marine highways, including Columbia River to Vancouver

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.

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Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.