Barge Project Earns Grant, Removes 2,000 Trucks from Highway

Barge Project Earns Grant, Removes 2,000 Trucks from Highway

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) has awarded a Marine Highway Grant to the Ports of Indiana for developing a steel barge shuttle with Nucor Steel at its Jeffersonville port. This project will create supply chain efficiencies for Nucor and the private sector partners as well as generate public benefits by taking over 2,000 trucks off the highways and eliminating more than 130,000 miles in one-way truck hauls.

The grant award of $545,136 will support a project cost of $778,766 that includes the construction of a 1.2-acre outdoor storage area and the purchase of a forklift to be used for handling steel coils. The planned barge shuttle storage facility was developed with Nucor Steel to allow the barge shipment of coils from Ghent, Ky., to Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville. Project partners also include Watco Co., Campbell Transportation Co., Voss Clark, Mill Steel and OKI Regional Council of Governments, who served as the original Marine Highway Project sponsor.

“This grant funds a critical component of a new barge shuttle service that will allow Nucor to better utilize our Jeffersonville port’s cargo handling facilities to serve customers and to grow future business,” said Ports of Indiana Senior Vice President Jody Peacock. “We’re grateful for MARAD’s support of this project and believe there are more opportunities to expand this barge shuttle to additional ports in the future.”

The two components needed to establish a new storage facility are: 1) the construction of an outdoor laydown area and, 2) the purchase of a forklift to unload truckloads of coils from the dock, and load trucks for just-in-time delivery to customers. The grant will be used to cover the funding gap needed to build the storage facility and buy a forklift. Ports of Indiana is providing the local funding match and will manage the grant administration.

“We’re excited to partner with Nucor and our family of port companies to develop this project,” said Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville Port Director Jeff Miles. “This port provides critical multimodal connections for steel shipments and steel processors in the Midwest. We have 13 steel-related companies on-site that make our ‘Steel Campus’ a key transportation hub for U.S. steel producers, automakers and manufacturing facilities.”

MARAD awarded $9.5 million in grants to eight marine highways projects across the Nation under the America’s Marine Highway Program. The funding supports the enhancement of navigable waterways and expands existing waterborne freight services in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington and American Samoa.

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