The US is to award grants worth up to $60m to modernise ferry docks, facilities and services in 19 states and one US territory, US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has announced.

The funds will be allotted under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to build and fix ferry boats and terminal facilities.

The projects chosen under the ARRA will tackle transportation needs in economically deprived areas, according to LaHood.

The biggest projects to use the economic recovery funds are expected to be in Detroit, Michigan and Nueces, Texas, where ferry services are in short supply.