The U.S. Maritime Administration – known as MARAD – recently awarded nearly $12 million in grants to eight marine highway projects across the nation via its United States Marine Highway Program or USMHP.
[Above photo by the Alaska DOT&PF]
The agency said that funding should improve the movement of goods along U.S. navigable waterways and expand existing waterborne freight services in Alaska, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin – strengthening supply chains and ultimately cutting costs for consumers.
Of that nearly $12 million in grants, MARAD said $5.8 million will go towards supporting projects within “historically disadvantaged communities.”
The agency noted that USMHP grants can be used to purchase low-emission U.S.-manufactured equipment, such as container reach stackers and cranes, with the condition that all iron, steel, manufactured products, and construction materials are produced in the United States. In addition, funds can be used to purchase intermodal equipment that can alleviate supply chain bottlenecks, MARAD said.
“Our country has always relied on American waterways to get vital goods where they need to go,” noted Pete Buttigieg, secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, in a statement.
“We are delivering new funding for eight marine highway projects across the country that will strengthen our supply chains, improve our ports, and help keep goods affordable for American families,” he said.
“The U.S. Marine Highway Program is focused on increasing waterborne transport through the nation’s navigable waterways,” added MARAD Administrator Ann Phillips.
“By integrating our internal waterways into the nation’s surface transportation system, we will be utilizing a more efficient, effective, and sustainable option for moving passengers and large freight,” she said.