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Biden-Harris Administration Approves Grant Funding to Expedite Capacity Expansion for Port of Baltimore Terminal Operator

Friday, April 5, 2024

Revised port infrastructure grant builds on Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing work to mitigate supply chain disruptions and economic impact from the suspension of vessel traffic at the Port of Baltimore 

WASHINGTON – As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government effort to tackle supply chain disruptions caused by the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and Baltimore County signed a revised grant agreement to enable Tradepoint Atlantic (TPA), a facility in the county, to use a previously awarded $8.26 million DOT grant to accommodate more cargo at TPA’s terminal on Sparrows Point at the Port of Baltimore. The TPA terminal is located outside the area affected by last week’s deadly collapse of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge and continues to move cargo. 
The adjustments to the previously awarded Port Infrastructure Development Program grant will enable Baltimore County and TPA to expedite paving at least 10 acres that will be used for additional cargo laydown area. In addition to facilitating the movement of roll-on/roll-off and bulk cargo, the increase in laydown area will more than double their prior capacity of 10,000 autos per month to be able to handle over 20,000 autos per month, helping to ensure continued automobile imports and exports in and out of the Port of Baltimore. Until last week’s bridge collapse that suspended normal vessel traffic, the Port of Baltimore was the top port in the country for automobile imports and exports. TPA has already begun grading work at the site and expects it will be ready to take additional cargo by the end of April. 
“The Biden-Harris Administration has taken quick action finding every way to help Baltimore and the entire region get back on their feet – including last week’s release of $60 million to help Maryland begin urgent work,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “We signed a revised grant agreement to allow one of the operators at the Port of Baltimore to use previously awarded federal funds to quickly expand cargo capacity at an area of the port that sits outside of the channel blocked by the collapse of Key Bridge.”

The Biden-Harris Administration continues to communicate with port, labor, and industry partners to advance collaboration at all levels.  This week DOT staff met with FLOW participants to provide an update on changes in East Coast inbound container traffic to the Port of Savannah and the Port of New York and New Jersey. In addition, the National Economic Council and the Department convened a meeting of East Coast ports to discuss cargo capacity concerns. Last Thursday, Secretary Pete Buttigieg and other Administration officials held a meeting with over 100 leaders from across the supply chain following the suspension of Port of Baltimore vessel traffic. The National Economic Council has also repeatedly convened the Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force to continue coordination of the Biden-Harris Administration’s response to supply chain impacts.

In response to the collapse, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has been actively coordinating with federal, state, and local officials in the region, including the Maryland Department of Transportation, the Maryland Transportation Authority, the City of Baltimore, the U.S. Coast Guard and others. On March 28, FHWA announced the immediate availability of $60 million in “quick release” Emergency Relief (ER) funds for the Maryland Department of Transportation to rebuild the Francis Scott Key Bridge, within hours of receiving the request. These funds serve as a down payment toward initial costs, and additional Emergency Relief program funding will be made available as work continues. FHWA has remained on the ground, consulting with state and local officials, supporting the debris removal effort and providing technical assistance related to the reconstruction process.

Read more about the actions the Biden-Harris Administration is taking following the devastating collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge to reopen the port, rebuild the bridge, and support the people of Baltimore here