Rhode Island and Maine will receive funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to make improvements to ports in order to accommodate wind energy-related shipments.
The funds are part of ARRA's Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) discretionary grant program and are being distributed by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Projects funded with the $1.5 billion grant include those that improve roads, bridges, rail, ports, transit and intermodal facilities.
‘TIGER grants will tackle the kind of major transportation projects that have been difficult to build under other funding programs,’ says Ray LaHood, secretary of the DOT. ‘This will help us meet the 21st century challenges of improving the environment, making our communities more livable and enhancing safety, all while creating jobs and growing the economy.’
The Quonset Development Corp. will receive about $22.3 million for the Quonset Wind Energy and Surface Transportation Project. This project supports wind energy manufacturing and logistics operations. The funds will be used to improve access to industrial properties being marketed to alternative energy producers, particularly offshore wind.
The Maine DOT receive $14 million to revitalize Maine's ports in order to transport wind turbines and other green freight. TIGER funds will help the Port of Portland upgrade the wharf and upland storage facility at the International Marine Terminal Facility. Funds will also help the Port of Searsport invest in innovative new equipment, including a heavy-lift mobile harbor crane.
Awardees were selected based on their contribution to the economic competitiveness of the nation, improving safety and the condition of the existing transportation system, increasing the quality of life, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and demonstrating strong collaboration among a broad range of participants, including the private sector.