The program is focused on investments in regional and nationally significant transportation assets.
The Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) was notified that the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) will award $7,719,173 in grant funding to the Maine Intermodal Port Productivity Project (MIPPP) for infrastructure improvements at the International Marine Terminal (IMT) in Portland.
The Fostering Advancement in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-term Achievement of National Efficiencies (FASTLANE) grant is a new USDOT program created by the FAST Act. The program is focused on investments in regional and nationally significant transportation assets.
“The IMT is undoubtedly one of Maine's greatest transportation success stories of this century,” said Gov. Paul R. LePage. “The award of this FASTLANE grant will allow the MaineDOT and Maine Port Authority to continue our mission of advancing marine and rail facilities in support of economic development and enhance the global competiveness of Maine businesses in New England and across the world.”
The total cost of the MIPPP is $15,438,347. Federal grant funds will be matched equally by funds from state and private sources. The project will include acquisition of a new crane, moving the current maintenance facility from the pier and development of additional pier area, improvements to gate operations, and the creation of additional rail capacity.
“We are very excited to learn that we secured Fast Act funding for the Maine Intermodal Port Productivity Project,” said David Bernhardt, MaineDOT commissioner. “These funds will allow us to make strategic investments to build capacity, realize efficiencies and increase productivity at the IMT in Portland and enable the terminal to fully realize its potential through the improved utilization of all of its transportation assets.”
The growth of container traffic at the IMT terminal has exceeded 20 percent year over year. Further growth will be driven by increased rail and vessel activity, which will minimize the use of the U.S. Highway System and other roadways in Maine, as well as key border crossings. As a result, vehicle emissions will be lowered and roadway maintenance costs will be reduced, while freight is moved more efficiently and economically.
“This investment is another example of the successful collaboration of the Maine Port Authority, MaineDOT, EIMSKIP, PanAm Railways, Soli DG Inc. and most importantly our private sector customers who move their freight through the terminal daily,” said John Henshaw, executive director of the Maine Port Authority.
Movement of the existing port maintenance facility and technology investments will also enable improved speed and safety through the port for trucks moving freight to and from the terminal. Investments in rail capacity will make possible increases in freight moving by that mode as well.
“The IMT is an effective multimodal freight asset for the Maine economy,” said Nate Moulton, director of the Rail Program at MaineDOT. “The MIPPP will ensure that the truck, rail and maritime shipping capacities stay balanced so that bottlenecks do not hinder growth.”
“Maine has always been home to Bristol Seafood and this setting inspires our commitment to providing a quality product,” said Peter Handy, president and CEO of Bristol Seafood. “Infrastructure such as the IMT ensures that we are able to efficiently and cost effectively pursue the world's best fish, expand our customer base and put the freshest seafood on tables across the country.”
Further details are anticipated to be announced by the USDOT in September.