The project will increase the efficiency and reliability of the container terminal
Portland, ME—U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Chairman of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, announced today that the Maine Port Authority (MPA) has received a $4,098,360 grant through the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration (MARAD).
U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao called Senator Collins this afternoon to notify her that this project, for which Senator Collins strongly advocated, would receive federal funding. In May, Senator Collins sent a letter in support of MPA’s Port Infrastructure Development Program grant application, titled “Linking Intermodal Needs and rural freight Knowledge (LINK),” for improvements at the International Marine Terminal (IMT).
“The International Marine Terminal has experienced a significant increase in volume in recent years, and this $4.1 million investment will allow the terminal to make improvements to keep pace with its substantial growth,” said Senator Collins. “This major seaport is northern New England’s only container terminal and is utilized daily by businesses and customers across our state, including L.L. Bean, Sappi, Aroostook potato growers, and Washington County blueberry growers. The LINK project will create additional jobs, increase the export of Maine manufacturers’ products, and support rural economies across the state. As the Chairman of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, I will continue to push for funding to address our state’s transportation needs.”
“The LINK project will be the latest investment into the successful redevelopment of Portland’s working waterfront,” said Jon Nass, CEO of the Maine Port Authority. “This grant, along with others that Senator Collins has assisted the MPA in securing, will help two Maine terminals continue to grow, create jobs, and provide critical logistical infrastructure to help grow Maine’s economy. Senator Collins drafted legislation especially designed to help small ports and terminals, like those in Maine compete for these grants. We are thrilled to learn of the success of this latest endeavor.”
The LINK project will provide additional public and private logistical assets at Merrill’s Marine Terminal (MMT) with warehousing, breakbulk and drybulk–to-container loading capacity. Specifically, the project will:
- Connect IMT and MMT through the construction of a heavy haul road along existing railroad tracks,
- Renovate a currently vacant state-owned warehouse at MMT,
- Consolidate cross-docking activities with terminal access, and
- Add capacity for bulk-to-container and container–to-bulk operations.
Since attracting Eimskip, the IMT has seen container volume grow by 20 to 30 percent year over year. Even during the pandemic and economic crisis, this year’s total volume is projected to match the previous calendar year.
As Chairman of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Committee, Senator Collins was able to provide $225 million for the Port Infrastructure Development Program in the fiscal year 2020 Appropriations bill. She also secured a provision requiring MARAD to prioritize funding for small ports and allowing small ports to receive up to an 80 percent Federal cost share.
In April, at Senator Collins’ request, MARAD provided technical assistance to Maine’s ports, which provided invaluable support to MPA in developing this application.
Since 2009, when Senator Collins became a member of the Appropriations Committee, she has secured more than $746 million in competitive transportation grants for the State of Maine.