A new Port infrastructure Development Program was launched by the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) this week, kicking things off with a $292.7 million notice of funding opportunity (NOFO).
The new program is focused on improving safety, efficiency, and reliability of good movements involving the nation’s ports. For the opening funding opportunity, the money will be given to those who pass a competition for projects at coastal seaports or outside the boundaries of coastal seaports whose efforts directly relate to port operations or intermodal connections to ports. They will be evaluated on the use of federal funds, geographic diversity, project costs and benefits, outcomes, readiness, and domestic preference.
“This major investment in the Port Infrastructure Development Program will help strengthen, modernize, and improve our country’s maritime systems and gateway ports,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said.
A minimum award of $10 million has been set for selected projects. Federal costs are barred from exceeding 80 percent of any project. With that in mind, the US DOT also expects to fund at least one project that works toward advancing technology supported safety and design efficiency improvements, improves the state of good repair and resiliency, promotes efficient energy trade, and promotes manufacturing, agriculture or other exports. From the top 15 coastal ports, it also wants to fund a project that supports the safe slow of agricultural and food products both domestically and internationally.