MARAD lines $11 million for inland waterways development

MARAD lines up $11 million for inland waterways development

Photo source: MSC

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) is pushing to accelerate the use of America’s inland waterways for project cargo, freight and people movement. The project would offer an alternative to land-based transportation. 

MARAD has designated six new Marine Highway Projects and a new Marine Highway Route as part of the America’s Marine Highway Program (AMHP). Since its inception, the AMHP has designated 46 Marine Highway Projects. A designation makes projects on Marine Highway Routes eligible for grants when AMHP funding is available. In May, the Department announced the availability of nearly $11 million in grant funding through the AMHP, which will be awarded to advance marine highway projects previously designated by the Secretary.

“These new project designations will improve the movement of freight by water all around the nation, including along our coasts, on our inland waterways, and to Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands,” said acting maritime administrator Lucinda Lessley.

The new Route and Project Designations include the M-GNM1, the M-5 Coastal Connector, the Guam Marine Transportation Enhancement Initiative, CNMI Freight Improvement Project (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands),Missouri River Container on Barge Project (Missouri), Port Raritan Terminal Facility (New Jersey) and M-90 Transbay Freight Service Project (Wisconsin).

The Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Route Designation (M-GNM1) will allow the expansion of existing containerized freight service between Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands’ (CNMI) main islands of Rota, Tinian, and Saipan.

M-5 Coastal Connector (California/Oregon/Washington) will support a service transporting goods on barges between Bellingham, Washington; Southern Oregon; and San Diego, California.

Guam Marine Transportation Enhancement Initiative (Guam) will expand and promote inbound and outbound cargo within the islands. Service providers transporting freight utilize U.S. ports in Hawaii and the West Coast before making their way through Guam and the CNMI. The Port of Guam operates as the only commercial seaport on the island and serves the regional population of more than 225,000, including communities on the neighbouring islands in the CNMI.

CNMI Freight Improvement Project (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) will support the movement of containers between the Port of Guam and Commonwealth Port Authority ports of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. The CNMI is exploring the expansion of its maritime capacities for the shipping of inter-island cargo and commodities to increase frequency and reduce shipping costs.

Missouri River Container on Barge Project (Missouri) will expand options for the transportation of goods on inland waterways, including agricultural commodities in containers originating within Central Missouri from ports and terminals along the M-29, M-70, and M-55 routes to ocean ports along the Gulf on the M-10.

Port Raritan Terminal Facility (New Jersey) will support service from the Raritan Port located in New Jersey to various locations in New York City, accommodating Roll-on/Roll-off (Ro-Ro) barges carrying wheeled containers, ferries capable of carrying trucks, Lift-on/Lift-off (Lo-Lo) barges that can be used to support offshore wind-energy turbines, and other services.

M-90 Transbay Freight Service Project (Wisconsin) will be the first in the AMHP intended to divert the transportation of large vessel modules and material-handling equipment from the highways to the waterways among Marinettte/Menominee, Sturgeon Bay, and Green Bay. The designation will help ensure the long-term sustainability and growth of the service and the provision of cost-effective shipping service for that region to sustain and create jobs.

Author: Adnan Bajic

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