Gov. Andy Beshear announced Wednesday $500,000 in grants have been awarded to four Kentucky riverports for needed infrastructure and equipment upgrades to improve operations and access to riverports.
The funding, which was appropriated by the General Assembly and must be locally matched, was earmarked for six separate projects at the four riverports.
“An efficient transportation system in all its modes – highway, air, rail and water – is essential to our economy and standard of living,” Beshear said. “Our Kentucky riverports play a unique role in that system. We’re pleased to be able to support these strategic investments.”
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Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray approved the awards at the recommendation of the Kentucky Water Transportation Advisory Board, which reviewed the applications, stating, “The grants will help these riverports meet a range of needs for both operations and capacity.”
The funding will go to these projects:
Eddyville Riverport and Industrial Development Authority:
$184,061 toward the purchase of a CAT 330 excavator to provide redundancy for material loading/unloading and to help expand operations.
Owensboro Riverport Authority:
$115,859.60 toward a 25,000-pound forklift to handle aluminum and steel loads.
$31,399.83 toward a new and more efficient compact track loader for handling material.
$16,159.57 toward a new 10,000-pound forklift to unload aluminum and steel from barges and railcars.
Henderson County Riverport Authority:
$122,000 toward a new truck scale, plus widening and adding access drives for more efficient truck movement.
Paducah-McCracken County Riverport Authority:
$30,510 toward replacing two deteriorated entranceways and aprons, to provide increased access to storage yards.
“State investment is beyond critical to the preservation of all public ports across the Commonwealth to provide efficient and cost-effective multimodal access to our thriving Industries,” said Brian Wright, Owensboro Riverport Authority president. “The Owensboro Riverport Authority serves the growing aluminum industry in Kentucky by handling over 500,000 short tons of aluminum annually. These state funds will provide a portion of the necessary dollars needed to replace aging handling equipment utilized daily to promote our mission of multimodal optimization across the state. Riverports are essential to Kentucky’s economic development success.”
This marks the second consecutive year that these types of grants have been awarded, as last June, Beshear also announced $500,000 in grants to four riverports for eight projects.