The US Department of Transportation ’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) has granted almost $39m in funds to 12 marine highway projects across the country.

Under the America’s Marine Highway Programme (AMHP), the grants will help extend marine highway services on navigable waterways to cut down congestion as well as address supply chain challenges and enable the movement of goods more rapidly from ships to shelves.

US President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law enabled AMHP to receive an additional $25m in funding this year.

The West Helena/Phillips County Port Authority in Arkansas will receive $2.8m to acquire equipment to run the terminal and install a bridge crane to handle containers.

The San Diego Unified Port Authority District will secure $5.5m to undertake infrastructure upgrades at the Port of San Diego to help handle cargo on the West Coast M-5 Coastal Connector service between California and Washington.

Furthermore, the Port Authority of Guam will be allocated  $5.7m to expand its fleet of specialised container yard equipment.

The grants will also cover $2.4m for the M-55/M-35 Marine Highway Barge Project in Illinois and Missouri, $1m for the Baton Rouge-New Orleans Shuttle Service Barge Expansion Project in Louisiana, and $1.1m for New Jersey’s Port Raritan Terminal Facility development project.

In New York, $5.1m will be received by the New York Harbor Container and Trailer-on-Barge Services project and $754,000 will be assigned to the Oswego Port Great Lakes Container Service Reach Stacker Project.

$2.8m for the Puerto Rico Maritime Transportation Service Project and $3.7m for the Richmond Marine Terminal (RMT) Wharf Improvements project in Virginia will also be issued under the grants.

Furthermore, $4.1m has been allocated for the Tidewater M-84 Barge Service Expansion project in Washington and Oregon while $3.3m has been allocated for the M-90 Transbay Marine Highway Equipment Acquisition Project in Wisconsin.

US transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg said: “At a time of record demand for goods, it’s more important than ever to strengthen our supply chains so our manufacturers can grow and American families can get the things they need quickly and affordably.

“Today’s announcement will help improve our marine highway system across the country, alleviating congestion, modernising port operations and ultimately lowering the cost of goods for American families.”