In December, a number of dry bulk-related projects were awarded funding under the US Department of Transportation’s BUILD programme of discretionary grants.
In Morrow County, Oregon, a BUILD grant will fund almost 80% of the Columbia River Barge Terminal Rail Access project, which was awarded US$19,414,875 out of a total project cost of US$25,964,875.
The project will establish rail-to-barge transloading capability within the port’s barge terminals on the Columbia River. Improvements include a mainline switch, construction of approximately 11,140ft of rail line, three rail switches, a Terminal 1 crane, upgrades to Ullman Bridge, and construction of Marine Drive Bridges and corresponding road works.
It is anticipated that this project will provide new capabilities to ship and receive commodities through rail and barge shipments, generating new economic activity in a remote, rural area, and will allow for increased use of shipping as an alternative to trucking.
In Texas, the Port of Port Arthur Navigation District project has received a US$20M BUILD grant award out of a total project cost of US$55M.
This project extends the Berth 5 wharf at Port Arthur by approximately 1,000ft to create Berth 6 as a cranecapable pile-supported wharf, including a tied-back bulkhead and a cargo handling lay-down area. The project also modifies and expands the existing rail system to provide a direct connection between the existing rail spur and the dock tracks at Berth 5 and Berth 6.
By increasing the port’s capacity to support bulk energy exports such as biomass, and nearly doubling its liquid energy capacity, the project aims to increase operational productivity. More direct export options, particularly when combined with a privately purchased mobile shiploader, are expected to boost port operations.
In Oklahoma, the Port of Muskogee Rail Access project, which will construct rail and road access improvements at the Port of Muskogee, was awarded US$5,789,210 out of a total project cost of US$11,578,420.
The project will include track upgrades, expansion, and realignment to meet current Class I railroad safety standards, highway-rail grade crossing modernization on State Highway 16, and approximately 9,700ft of additional track to expand the capacity of the existing marshalling yard.