Background

The Department of Transportation has announced more than $7.5 million in grants to the following projects under the Marine Highway Program, which aims to expand the use of navigable waterways to relieve landside congestion.

- $1.6 million to support the expansion of barge services from the Port of Morrow to Portland, Ore.; Vancouver, Wash.; and Longview, Wash., including the enhancement of two marine terminals

- $1.5 million to support the conversion of one of the two ferries used in the Seattle-Bainbridge Island Ferry Service from diesel to hybrid

- $1.3 million for the purchase of marine terminal handling equipment essential for efficient loading and unloading for the express container barge service between Fernandina, Fla., and Charleston, S.C.

- $1.1 million to support the Lake Erie Shuttle Service, including the purchase and installation of a crawler crane and the training associated with its use

- $1.04 million to purchase six purpose-built barges and lease one towboat to support the growing Port Allen to New Orleans container shuttle

- $480,000 to support the purchase or lease of facility and transportation equipment at a Baton Rouge facility that will be used to load and unload containers as part of the Paducah-McCracken Container on Barge Marine Highway Project, which will be centrally located at the confluence of five inland waterways and operate to the international export ports of Louisiana

- $190,000 to purchase equipment that will help the Richmond Marine Terminal provide a more efficient barge service operation along the James River in Virginia

- $180,000 to support the development of an operational plan that will provide the necessary data to establish a business case to support shipping container movements by barge between terminals in Houston

- $96,000 to design a new trestle and combination dock/ramp to support the loading and unloading of barges and research vessels at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Wallops Island, Va.

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