Port Tampa Bay has secured a $12.6 million federal grant to construct a new berth in South Hillsborough County to support growing consumer demand, officials announced last week.
In Pinellas County, a proposed transit center in downtown Clearwater that would include six bus bays, bicycle storage, solar panels and electric bus charging stations, is getting $20 million.
The projects are among five in Florida receiving $85.8 million in federal funding under the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity program. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg recently announced that 166 projects nationwide would get funding under RAISE, which is receiving an infusion of $7.5 billion over five years from last year’s infrastructure law.
“We are proud to support so many outstanding infrastructure projects in communities large and small, modernizing America’s transportation systems to make them safer, more affordable, more accessible, and more sustainable,” Buttigieg said in a statement.
Other federal grants include $16 million to expand rail capacity at PortMiami and $12.3 million for the Florida Department of Transportation to improve pedestrian safety in the city of St. Augustine.
The largest grant award in the state is going to safety enhancements along the Florida East Coast Railway corridor. The state’s Department of Transportation is securing $24.9 million to fund efforts aimed at reducing vehicle collisions and trespassing along the 195 miles of the shared-use railway.
The new berth at Port Tampa Bay, Florida’s fourth-largest port by cargo value, is slated to increase efficiency of unloading cargo and reduce vessel idling times.
“We need help to lower costs and untangle supply chains, and this $12.6 million investment in Port Tampa Bay will help modernize the Port Redwing facility and ensure Tampa Bay businesses can grow and thrive,” U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, a Democrat from Tampa, said in a statement.
Across the bay, Brad Miller, CEO of Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, said the funding for the downtown Clearwater transit center will help solve “the most pressing transportation need in Pinellas County.”
But the news has been cast in doubt after City Manager Jon Jennings said the proposed location of the center, city-owned vacant land at Myrtle Avenue and Court Street, “is not in play.” The issue is slated to be raised for discussion at the Clearwater City Council’s Monday work session.