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Marine Highway Project Applications Being Accepted by DOT

Monday, June 16, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration is accepting applications for projects under the Marine Highway Program, which now covers all U.S. ports. Marine highway route designation recommendations may continue to be submitted at any time.

The objective of the MHP is to reduce landside congestion and increase the use of domestic marine transportation by supporting the development of transportation options for shippers. MHP-designated projects can improve safety and system resilience and serve to reduce transportation-related air emissions, transportation costs for shippers, energy consumption, and costs associated with landside transportation infrastructure.

Marad is now seeking additional projects that may establish new or enhance existing marine highway services. Being designated a marine highway project allows DOT resources to be used to assist public project sponsors, ports and other local transportation or economic development agencies in the development of marine highway projects.

Since the last call for projects in April 2010 the scope of the MHP has been expanded to include all of the domestic marine transportation system. The program previously only included waterways that paralleled landside transportation routes, but Marad can now review and consider designating marine highway routes and projects between all U.S. ports, including those with no contiguous landside connection, as well as between U.S. ports and ports in Canada in the Great Lakes Saint Lawrence Seaway System.

To be eligible, a proposed project must use U.S. documented vessels; transport passengers, containerized freight or trailer-based freight; and operate on a designated marine highway route. However, because the number of navigable waterways eligible for designation as a marine highway route has been increased, Marad will consider projects that would operate on newly eligible navigable waterways that have been recommended for, but not yet granted, a marine highway route designation.

There will be five project review sessions during the current open season, as follows. Qualified projects will be announced shortly after the completion of each project review session.

- due date June 30, 2014; review period July 1 through Sept. 30, 2015

- due date Dec. 31, 2014; review period Jan. 1 through March 31, 2015

- due date June 30, 2015; review period July 1 through Sept. 30, 2015

- due date Dec. 31, 2015; review period Jan. 1 through March 31, 2016

- due date June 30, 2016; review period July 1 through Sept. 30, 2016

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