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MARAD funds Marine highways

The US Maritime Administration (MARAD) has announced $4.8M in grants to six Marine Highway projects throughout the US.

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This round of funding under MARAD’s Marine Highway programme has been allocated to existing “marine highways” serving ports in Louisiana, Virginia, New York, and Connecticut, and to support the development of new container-on-barge services in Kentucky and Rhode Island.


The focus of the Marine Highway Programme is to expand the use of navigable waterways to relieve landside congestion and encourage modal shift to waterway transport. “Marine Highways provide new modal choices to cargo shippers, which reduces transportation costs while providing the public benefits of reduced road maintenance costs and improved safety,” MARAD noted.


The Projects receiving grant funding are:

  • Port of Baton Rouge and Port of New Orleans Container-on-Barge ($2,5M), Grant will contribute to purchasing handling equipment for container-on-barge operations in New Orleans. “The existing service, which operates on a regular, reliable schedule, is designed to relocate empty containers in Memphis to meet export customer demand in Baton Rouge. This grant will allow the service to expand to the New Orleans France Road terminal and will allow northbound containers to be offloaded as far north as Memphis, TN”.
  • Davisville/Brooklyn/Newark Container-on-Barge Service ($855,200). A twice weekly service between Brooklyn, NY, Newark, NJ and the Port of Davisville in Rhode Island using one 800-TEU capacity deck barge. The service will remove approximately 83,200 containers and 14,976,000 vehicular miles annually from the road.
  • James River Expansion Project on the M-64 ($456,000). This is the thrice weekly barge service sponsored by the Virginia Port Authority to move containers between its Hampton Roads terminals and the Richmond Marine Terminal. The VPA will use the funds to purchase a heavy FLT for container handling.
  • New York Harbour Container and Trailer-on-Barge Service ($298,423). Grant towards a planning study to determine how marine highway services can be expanded throughout the Northeast region from New York Harbour to other points.
  • Cross Sound Enhancement Project ($503,250). Funds to be spent by the Connecticut Port Authority expanding the dock and supporting infrastructure for its Cross-Sound Ferry.
  • Paducah-McCracken Riverport Container-on-Barge Service ($251,927). The grant will fund an 18 month demonstration of container-on-barge services that would stretch across three states and three marine highways. “Specifically, the funds would be utilized for leasing and/or purchase of shoreside container handling equipment", MARAD noted.
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