Senator Collins Secures $225 Million for Port Improvements in Final Appropriations Agreement

The funding will help support projects at Maine’s ports

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Chairman of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, announced that the final Appropriations agreement unveiled yesterday provides $225 million to improve the safety, efficiency, and reliability of our nation’s ports.  The legislation also prioritizes small grant applications for ports like Portland, Eastport, and Searsport.

 

Senator Collins was the Chairman of the negotiating Committee that brokered the agreement between the House and the Senate for the Transportation and Housing appropriations bill.  The ports provision was the culmination of months of negotiation and advocacy by Senator Collins.  The agreement must now receive a vote in both the House and the Senate.  Once passed by both chambers, the bill will proceed to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

 

“Maine’s seaports are utilized daily by businesses and customers across our state, helping to facilitate the sale of Maine products and creating jobs here in our state,” said Senator Collins.  “As the Chairman of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, I worked hard to secure this funding, which will have a lasting impact on these economic engines along our coast.  By helping to upgrade and improve the competitiveness of Maine’s ports, these investments will provide a boost for the entire state.”

 

“Federal port infrastructure funding is critical to developing maritime assets throughout the State of Maine,” said Jon Nass CEO of the Maine Port Authority.  “This type of grant funding secured by Senator Collins in recent years has helped create and support ports across Maine’s coastline, stimulating its economy and making Maine competitive in a global economy. Senator Collins’ continued support for maritime infrastructure is incredibly valuable for all of Maine. The Maine Port Authority looks forward to working with Senator Collins to make use of this program.”   

 

Eligible projects for the $225 million for port funding include road and rail connections, docks, wharves, piers, and landside structures.  Small grant applications, defined as those less than $10 million, are required to be prioritized for small ports, which will be beneficial to ports in Maine.  Small grant applications are also eligible for a federal cost-share above 80 percent.

 

This funding could be used to construct infrastructure to support the growth of Maine ports and the efficient movement of freight. Piers, warehouses, multi-modal connections and specialized infrastructure to handle new types of freight could all be supported under this grant program.

 

In addition, Senator Collins has asked the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Maritime Administration to provide technical assistance to Maine’s ports on developing grant applications to compete in the program.