(The Center Square) – The U.S. Department of Transportation is sending $54.2 million in federal grants to the Port of Tacoma for its terminal expansion project.
The Northwest Seaport Alliance will utilize the funds for the initial phase of the expansion of the port’s Husky Terminal. This includes reconfiguring the yard for better truck circulation and adding capacity to container storage through demolishing unused infrastructure and installing more storage racks.
Notably, the Husky Terminal is one of the busiest container terminals in the Pacific Northwest region, according to U.S. Sen. Patty Murray’s letter of support.
The port’s project also plans to upgrade power infrastructure in preparation for the electrification of cargo handling equipment. Murray noted that by moving away from diesel-powered cargo handling equipment, this project would reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the port’s neighboring area.
“The Port of Tacoma is a juggernaut for economic activity in the Pacific Northwest, supporting over 42,000 jobs and generating nearly $3 billion in economic activity each year,” Murray said in a statement. “There is no question that making the port safer and more efficient will pay huge dividends – and that’s what the funding I helped secure will accomplish.”
The funding comes from the Maritime Administration’s Port Infrastructure Development Program, which is a grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration. Funds from the grant program go to awarded projects that improve the safety, efficiency or reliability of the movement of goods around or within a port.
In the 2023 fiscal year, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law appropriated $450 million to the Port Infrastructure Development Program. The 2023 Consolidated Appropriations Act tacked on an additional $212.2 million to the program, resulting in a total of $662.2 million in 2023 Port Infrastructure Development Program grant funding.
Co-chair of the Northwest Seaport Alliance Deanna Keller said that densifying the terminal and expanding its refrigerated cargo capacity will help Washington state’s agricultural exporters increase their volume in international markets.