Whitehouse Action Plan for America’s Ports and Waterways-What the Infrastructure Bill means for us

With the passing of Biden’s $1.2 Trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, the Whitehouse released a Fact Sheet yesterday which summarizes Action Plan for America’s Ports and Waterways. The Biden administration has not yet confirmed a date in which he will sign the Bill into action.

What the Infrastructure Bill means for us:

The 2,702-page bipartisan bill contains $550 billion in new spending which includes the following:

$66 billion for railroads. Funding includes upgrades and maintenance of America’s passenger rail system and freight rail safety, but nothing for high-speed rail.

$17 billion for ports. Half of the funds in this category would go to the Army Corps of Engineers for port infrastructure. Additional funds would go to the Coast Guard, ferry terminals, and reduction of truck emissions at ports.

This action plan will increase federal flexibilities for port grants; accelerate port infrastructure grant awards; announce new construction projects for coastal navigation, inland waterways, and land ports of entry; and launch the first round of expanded port infrastructure grants funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal.

The Infrastructure Deal will invest in transformative, shovel-worthy projects that revitalize other critical elements of America’s transportation infrastructure and supply chains.  This includes an additional $110 billion to repair roads and bridges and support major transformational projects.

Immediate Actions: 

  • Support creative solutions to current supply chain disruptions by allowing for flexibility in port grants. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) will allow port authorities across the country to redirect project cost savings toward tackling supply chain challenges.
  • Alleviate congestion at the Port of Savannah by funding the Georgia Port Authority pop-up container yards project. With this policy change, the Georgia Port Authority will be able to reallocate more than $8 million to convert existing inland facilities into five pop-up container yards in both Georgia and North Carolina. Under the plan, the Port of Savannah will transfer containers via rail and truck further inland so that they can be closer to their final destination, which will make available valuable real estate closer to the port. The effort will free up more dock space and speed goods flow in and out of the Port of Savannah, which leads the nation in containerized agricultural exports.  

Further Near-Term Actions:

  • Prioritize key ports of entry for modernization and expansion within the next 90 days. This plan will identify $3.4 billion in investments to upgrade obsolete inspection facilities and allow more efficient international trade through the northern and southern borders.
  • Open competition for the first round of port infrastructure grants funded through the bipartisan infrastructure deal within 90 days. DOT will announce more than $475 million in additional funding for port and marine highway infrastructure.

 

References:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/11/09/fact-sheet-the-biden-harris-action-plan-for-americas-ports-and-waterways/

https://www.investopedia.com/here-s-what-s-in-the-usd1-trillion-infrastructure-bill-passed-by-the-senate-5196817

https://nypost.com/2021/11/08/wh-biden-to-sign-infrastructure-bill-when-congress-reopens/

Full text of the bill can be found here:

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/117/hr3684/text/enr