Feds award Texas $10 million to shore up two Gulf Coast ports

Port of Port Arthur directly connects to Kansas City Southern Railway.

Photo – www.portpa.com

The U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $10 million in grants to Texas to improve critical port infrastructure to support business development and disaster resiliency following Hurricane Harvey. The projects are expected to create and retain more than 15,000 jobs and spur $9.8 million in private investment, according to an EDA press release. "These grants will help local leaders strengthen the infrastructure of the ports of Beaumont and Port Arthur to accelerate recovery efforts and boost the state's economy," said U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Grant recipients and their projects were: • The Port of Beaumont Navigation District in Beaumont, which will receive $5 million to reconstruct three docks in support of the Main Street Terminal 1 Dock Project. The improved infrastructure will allow for additional cargo. • The Port of Port Arthur Navigation District, which will receive $4.8 million to make rail, storm drainage and roadway improvements to increase capacity and promote economic resiliency in southeast Texas. "The Port of Beaumont and the Port of Port Arthur are two critical ports on our Texas Gulf Coast," said U.S. Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas). "As the busiest military cargo port and a major break-bulk port, respectively, these two ports matter a great deal to our national economy and security. Harvey did damage to much of our region, and with these grants, we are getting our ports back in their best working condition." The Port of Beaumont Harbor Island Marine Terminal connects with Union Pacific Railroad, Kansas City Southern and BNSF Railway Co. Port of Port Arthur directly connects to KCS. Through reciprocal switching and trackage rights, the Port of Port Arthur handles cargo connections to the east with Norfolk Southern Railway, and to the west and northwest with UP and BNSF. Tex-Mex Railway, a subsidiary of KCS, extends the port's services to Mexico. Harvey made landfall in Texas as a Category 4 hurricane on Aug. 25, 2017. The storm caused about $125 billion in damage.