Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Maritime Administration’s Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP) Under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 appropriated $230 million for the Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP) to make grants to improve facilities within, or outside of and directly related to operations of or an intermodal connection to, coastal seaports, inland river ports, and Great Lakes ports. This notice announces the availability of funding for grants under this program and establishes selection criteria and application requirements. The Act directed that at least $205 million of the appropriated funds shall be for grants to coastal seaports or Great Lakes ports. Additionally, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 directed that not less than $41.4 million shall be for projects at “Small Ports and Terminals” meeting certain requirements described in this NOFO. Funds for the PIDP are to be awarded as discretionary grants on a competitive basis for projects that will improve the safety, efficiency, or reliability of the movement of goods into, out of, around, or within a port. All PIDP grant recipients must meet all applicable Federal requirements, including the Buy American Act. The purpose of this notice is to solicit grant applications for the PIDP.

Applications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. E.D.T. on July 30, 2021.

Small Ports: This notice also includes provisions related to applications for assistance for certain projects at small ports, per 46 U.S.C. 50302(d) as amended by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (Pub. L. 116-283, January 1, 2021) (“NDAA”). This guidance applies to eligible applicants with eligible projects meeting two conditions: (1) The eligible applicant is a port with average annual tonnage of cargo during the three calendar years immediately preceding the time of application of less than 8,000,000 short tons and (2) the application seeks a certain level of Federal funding (less than or equal to $4.14 million). These projects are referred to in this notice as “small projects at small ports”.

An eligible applicant for a FY 2021 PIDP discretionary grant is a port authority, a commission or its subdivision or agent under existing authority, a State or political subdivision of a State or local government, a Tribal government, a public agency or publicly chartered authority established by one or more States, a special purpose district with a transportation function, a multistate or multijurisdictional group of entities, or a lead entity described above jointly with a private entity or group of private entities (including the owners or operators of a facility, or collection of facilities, at a port).


Eligible projects for FY 2021 PIDP grants shall be located either within the boundary of a port, or outside the boundary of a port and directly related to port operations or to an intermodal connection to a port. Eligible projects are limited to:

(1) Port gate improvements;

(2) road improvements both within and connecting to the port;

(3) rail improvements both within and connecting to the port;

(4) berth improvements (including docks, wharves, piers, and dredging incidental to the improvement project);

(5) fixed landside improvements in support of cargo operations (such as silos, elevators, conveyors, container terminals, Ro/Ro structures including parking garages necessary for intermodal freight transfer, warehouses including refrigerated facilities, lay-down areas, transit sheds, and other such facilities);

(6) utilities necessary for safe operations (including lighting, stormwater, and other such improvements that are incidental to a larger infrastructure project); or

(7) a combination of activities described above.

Projects addressing environmental mitigation measures, freight intelligent transportation systems, and digital infrastructure systems are eligible if those components support one of the eligible project types listed above. This program will not fund construction, reconstruction, reconditioning, or purchase of a vessel, nor any project within a small shipyard (as defined in 46 U.S.C. 54101). Mobile equipment, such as mobile harbor cranes or vehicles and similar equipment whose utility depends, in part, on their ability to be routinely relocated from one location to another, is not eligible for funding.

Development phase activities (including planning, feasibility analysis, revenue forecasting, environmental review, permitting, and preliminary engineering and design work) that support these capital projects are also eligible. However, DOT will prioritize funding for projects that propose to move into the construction phase within the grant's performance period. Accordingly, applications for only development phase activities will be less competitive than capital grants.

Improvements to Federally owned facilities are ineligible under the FY 2021 PIDP.

Refer to Section D.5, Funding Restrictions, for more information when determining eligibility.