By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,639)
The Port of Portland is scheduled to receive a federal grant in the amount of almost $ 8 Million to support infrastructure improvements, equipment and technology investments in the Port of Portland according to a press release from Senator Angus King’s office today.
A letter dated April 11, 2016 and signed by Maine’s four federal representatives said that the funding would make improvements to the International Marine Terminal to double the output capacity for this important northeastern intermodal system, which is critical to trade with Canada and Northern Europe.
Currently, cargo is offloaded at Canadian ports and transported to the US via truck. These funds will improve freight mobility and relieve highway congestion between Portland and ports in Canada. The improvements made possible by this grant include the removal of the existing maintenance facility and rehabilitation of the wharf, and the inclusion of essential equipment. The new equipment includes a much-needed crane.
“This new crane is going to change the look of that part of the working waterfront in Portland and in many ways will symbolize the growth that’s happening at that end of Commercial Street,” wrote US Representative Chellie Pingree (D) in her press release today. “There is freight from every corner of the state that moves through the terminal in Portland and those improvements are going to mean a lot more if it can be shipped by sea and rail through the Port of Portland,” she continued.
The federal funding comes through the US Department of Transportation’s new Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects program – a/k/a FASTLINE. The grant was created in December of 2015. the grant is expected to cover about half of the total project cost being matched by non-federal sponsors.