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$15+ million in federal funds will go toward upgrading Port of Baltimore

Posted at 12:02 PM, May 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-31 12:02:50-04

BALTIMORE — More than $15 million in federal funds will go toward increasing capacity at the Port of Baltimore, announced the city's Congressional delegation today.

The money, from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Railroad Administration, will help build four new working rail tracks and two crane rail beams at the Seagirt Marine Terminal, according to a press release.

A total of $15.68 million in federal funding is going toward the project.

President Joe Biden was at the Port last fall to tout his $17 billion investment in the nation's ports, part of the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill that was passed last year.

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden speaks during a visit at the Port of Baltimore, Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021. Biden's trip to the port is likely the start of a national tour to showcase the $1 trillion legislation that cleared Congress last week. Biden is pointing to Baltimore's port as a blueprint on how to reduce shipping bottlenecks that have held back the economic recovery. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

The president mentioned at the time:

...One of the most pressing economic concerns of the American people... is: getting prices down, number one; number two, making sure our stores are fully stocked; and number three, getting a lot of people back to work...

In March, the major Israeli shipping company ZIM launched a new e-commerce service to the Port of Baltimore.

The new Port of Baltimore modernization project announced today is expected to improve the intermodal rail yard, and is a complement to the work on the Howard Street Tunnel to allow double-stacked container trains. (That project got $125 million in federal funding, although Gov. Larry Hogan noted at the time that the state was able to cut costs dramatically from $4 billion to $466 million.)

The Baltimore delegation said the new Port project will "reconfigure the existing rails and contribute to efforts to improve air quality, increase safety, alleviate ongoing supply chain bottlenecks by shifting cargo from truck to rail, and convert existing diesel-fueled railyard equipment to electrified equipment."

The lawmakers said in a statement:

The Port of Baltimore is a powerful economic driver for the region and plays an important role in our country’s supply chain. Investing in our Port’s infrastructure ultimately means more Maryland jobs and a smoother transport of goods from ship to shelf. This project complements other initiatives at the Port that add capacity and improve efficiency. That’s why we supported this project, and why we worked to deliver these funds to the Port. We will keep pushing to provide federal investments to support the Port of Baltimore’s growth into the future.