Port of Hueneme Receives $12.3 Million TIGER Grant from U.S. Department of Transportation

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Grant to be used for intermodal improvements, including the deepening and strengthening of the wharfs and berths, modernizing cargo infrastructure, and on-dock rail improvements.

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Port Commission President Jess Herrera, Port President & CEO Kristin Decas, Congresswoman Julia Brownley, Port Commissioner Mary Anne Rooney, and U.S. US Maritime Administrator Michael Rodriquez

This grant promises to be a very big game changer for the Port in terms of retaining our great customer base, building new opportunities, creating jobs and advancing environmental and energy efficiency priorities.

On Friday, October 30, history was made at the Port of Hueneme when the Port’s Board of elected Harbor Commissioners joined Deputy Maritime Administrator Michael Rodriguez and other elected officials including Congressman Julia Brownley at an on-dock ceremony to formally announce the Port’s first ever Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant award from the US Department of Transportation (DOT).

US Maritime Administrator Michael Rodriquez commented at the press ceremony, "I congratulate you all for your hard work in putting together a very strong project that truly deserves federal investment." He acknowledged much more needs to be done to meet all the nation's transportation demands, but said, "I am pleased to announce the TIGER grant award of $12.3 million to the Port of Hueneme."

Harbor Commissioner Board President, Jess Herrera, celebrated the notable day announcing, “This Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER grant is a unique opportunity for our port to access funds necessary to significantly impact in a positive manner, our regional economy. TIGER grants are a competitive process. Receiving this grant recognizes our port’s ability to play a critical role in the nation’s transportation infrastructure. We are grateful to our Congresswoman, Julia Brownley for her support.”

Congresswoman Julia Brownley marked the occasion stating, “This is a big win for the Port of Hueneme. As one of the crown jewels of Ventura County, the economic impact of the Port on our local economy cannot be overstated,” said Congresswoman Julia Brownley. “This grant will allow the Port to bring in new business, which will bring more jobs to our community. I’m so pleased to have been able to advocate for the Port, and congratulate the port commissioners, and CEO and Port Director Kristin Decas, for their hard work on behalf of the Port of Hueneme.”

Specifically, the TIGER grant for the Port of Hueneme will be used for intermodal improvements, including the deepening and strengthening of the wharfs and berths, modernizing cargo infrastructure, and on-dock rail improvements. The grant is a critical component of the Port’s Intermodal Improvement Project which will allow for larger-capacity vessels, increased cold storage and cargo handling capability supporting anticipated increases of agricultural imports and exports, and on-dock rail that will allow for more efficient transfer of cargo with environmentally friendly trains.

The Project also strengthens Port asset utilization, enhances productivity, responds to customer growth, supports the growth of export and import cargo flows, integrates with the Phase II Shoreside Power investments improving air quality, and reduces regional congestion by offering efficient modal options. In combination with Port funds and private investments, the TIGER grant provides crucial gap financing to deliver efficient and strategic infrastructure that will grow the region’s economy. The engineering firm, AECOM, assisted with crafting the grant application.

The Port’s Intermodal Improvement Project in its entirety delivers tremendous benefits to Ventura County. The wharf and berth improvements will complement adjacent Army Corps of Engineers channel deepening efforts and will allow Port logistics partners to accommodate our existing customer’s larger capacity, deeper draft vessels; utilize heavy-lift cargo handling equipment; and enhance resiliency to climate change and reduce emissions during operations. A recent economic impact analysis on the deepening effort concluded that deepening creates 563 new jobs; $28M in business revenue; $5.8M in local purchases; and $4.6M in State and Local taxes. Of utmost importance, sand collected from the dredging projects is planned to support vital beach nourishment projects for the City of Port Hueneme.

To balance the new water-side capacity and maximize the terminal’s utilization, the existing cold storage sheds adjacent to the wharf will be upgraded with efficient climate control, lighting and state-of-the-art perishable cargo treatment facilities. Solar panel arrays will provide power to the facility and other Port systems, and new paving will provide safer dockside operations for heavy cargo and cargo handling equipment. These arrays will help provide 250kW of energy. This is also matched by our shore power infrastructure which reduced diesel fuel consumption while at berth by 67,458 gallons per year. The emissions reductions over the lifetime of the shore power project include a 92% decrease in particulate matter, 98% decrease in NOx and 55% decrease in CO2.

The final portion of the Intermodal Improvement Project will include the extension of the Port’s rail spur which will allow for on-terminal railcar loading as well as support liquid bulk transfer. The rail spur will support general and breakbulk cargo, further reducing traffic and congestion on the local and regional network. The introduction of on-terminal rail to the Port’s liquid bulk customers removes 2,300 annual truck trips from the local and regional roadways. This rail spur expansion allows for a 24% reduction in truck volume for total liquid bulk imports. Under its environmental framework and strategic 2020 Plan, the Port is exploring zero emission trains to support cargo transport and further reduce noise pollution and enhance air quality.

Kristin Decas and Port Director remarked, “This grant creates a catalyst for our future and promises to be a very big game changer for the Port in terms of retaining our great customer base, building new opportunities, creating jobs and advancing environmental and energy efficiency priorities. We thank US DOT, our federal delegation and all our local officials and industry leaders for their support and this clear vote of confidence in the Port of Hueneme.”

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Will Berg
Port of Hueneme
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