09 July 12

US grants help improve rail infrastructure

Port freight projects across the US have been awarded US$79m in TIGER IV infrastructure grants with a heavy emphasis on funding green intermodality aiming to get freight off the roads by improving rail infrastructure.

The federal funds come from the US Department of Transportation’s TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) programme.

Of the 47 capital project funding requests selected to receive awards, eight have gone directly to America’s port related infrastructure – making up 16% of the total capital grant funds available.

Among the grants awarded, the Port of Oakland in California will receive a US$15m grant to boost rail access and capacity at the port, the Port of Mobile in Alabama will receive US$12m to connect a container facility with the national rail system and the Port of Corpus Christi in Texas will receive US$10m to help fund a new rail siding and increase capacity.

The Port of Long Beach (POLB) is also a good example of how a US$17m TIGER grant is being put to good use to improve rail infrastructure. The “Green Port Gateway” aims to improve rail flow and the environment at the port.

A POLB spokesperson said to GreenPort: “Improving our rail network is critical if the Port of Long Beach is to grow green. The Green Port Gateway project will allow us to increase on-dock rail shipments by adding tracks so we eliminate a potential bottleneck. Moving more cargo by trains rather than trucks will ease roadway congestion and reduce air emissions.”

The Green Port Gateway Project will add a third rail line, helping to remove bottlenecks on the existing mainline track to allow port terminals to shift cargo from trucks to trains, which decreases local traffic congestion and air pollution. The improvements will minimise derailments and optimise rail traffic flow to the waterfront terminals. The project will cost an estimated $60 million and take 19 months to construct.

The Green Port Gateway Project, the first of four rail projects expected to begin in the next year to promote more on-dock rail shipments, is also part of the larger San Pedro Bay Ports Rail Enhancement Program, which involves several projects by the Port of Long Beach, the Port of Los Angeles and the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority.

Source: greenport.com