Federal grants to improve Texas ports recovery from Hurricane Harvey

Written by Railway Age Staff
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Photo: Port of Beaumont

A pair of Texas ports will benefit from federal economic aid aimed at bolstering recovery following Hurricane Harvey.

The Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $10 million in grants to the state of Texas to enhance critical port infrastructure to support business development and disaster resiliency following the August, 2017 storm.

Various projects are expected to create and retain over 15,000 jobs and spur $9.8 million in private investment.

Beaumont is a busy military cargo center while Port Arthur is a hub for breakbulk cargo.

“The Trump Administration has worked hard every day to help the communities of Texas recover in the wake of Hurricane Harvey,” said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. “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.”

The hurricane claimed 107 lives and caused $125 billion in damage – among the costliest natural disasters in U.S. history.

“Enhancing Texas’ critical port infrastructure means more jobs, more business growth, and more economic success for the entire state,” said Governor Greg Abbott. “As we continue to restore our port communities following Hurricane Harvey, we are making them stronger and more resilient than ever before. This grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce speaks to the important collaboration and cooperation between state, local, and federal officials throughout this process, and I thank Secretary Ross for his commitment to Texas.”

“Hurricane Harvey’s 135 mph winds and historic flooding left the Texas Gulf Coast, including Port Arthur and the Port of Beaumont, with 250 miles of devastation,” said U.S. Republican Senator Ted Cruz. “Through the funding provided by Congress to the Department of Commerce in the disaster relief funding bill passed earlier this year, and with the support of federal, state, and local partners, Port Arthur and the Port of Beaumont continue making strides down the road to recovery.”

The announcement comes just weeks before the November 6 midterm elections, where Cruz is facing an unexpectedly strong challenge from Democrat Beto O’Rourke.

The Port of Beaumont Navigation District in Beaumont will receive $5 million to reconstruct three docks in support of the Main Street Terminal 1 Dock Project.

The Port of Port Arthur Navigation District will receive $4.8 million to make rail, storm drainage and roadway improvements to increase capacity and promote economic resiliency in the Southeast Texas Region.

Planning for the projects was coordinated by the South East Texas Regional Planning Commission.

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