Freights in Mobile will soon be more efficient thanks to a $100M grant from the US Department of Transportation. We got the scoop.
About the grant
According to a press release, the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) Demonstration Program Grant was awarded to two Alabama transportation authorities—the Mobile Airport Authority (MAA) and the Alabama State Port Authority (ASPA).
The purpose of the grant—to increase the efficiency of freight movements by air, rail, highway and water by constructing multi-modal transportation in Mobile.
“This is one of the most impactful federal grants during my time in Congress…our Gulf Coast and the entire state of Alabama stands to benefit immensely from this funding in ways we can only imagine. Mobile has a lot to offer, and I am thrilled that we are utilizing its existing infrastructure to create a new transportation hub and economic power source for the entire state.”US Senator Richard Shelby
How will the grant be used?
The MAA and the ASPA jointly competed to use the grant to facilitate capital infrastructure improvements at the Port of Mobile and at the Mobile Downtown Airport.
Under the grant, the MAA will use its $62M portion of the grant and other funds to construct a new international airport terminal at BFM.
What’s the purpose of the new terminal? To add critical commercial aircraft belly capacity for cargo and more efficient cargo processing with the Federal Inspection Services (FIS).
“For residents, this move means more direct flights and lower fares. The new international terminal also creates expanded air freight capacity and that will spur continued economic growth and success on the Alabama Gulf Coast.”Chris Curry, President, Mobile Airport Authority President
The new terminal is expected to open in 2024.
Now onto the ASPA’s portion of the grant…
ASPA will receive $38M to leverage freight movement efficiencies by water, rail, air and highway. To do this, the Port will invest in an inter-terminal connector bridge at the container intermodal complex. This will connect the marine terminal with the intermodal container transfer facility (ICTF) terminals and adjacent logistics park.
The purpose of the connector—to facilitate direct, low emission transfers of a container from an ocean vessel to a rail via the ICTF, or to warehouse distribution centers located within the logistics park.
Assets are located in the Mobile Harbor where a $367M channel deepening and widening program is underway to provide ocean carriers at -50 ft. draft channel by late 2024 or early 2025.
According to Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson, the grant will “pave the way for an international airport that will connect imported and exported air cargoes to Mobile’s deep draft port, two interstate highway systems, five class I railroads and 15,000 miles of inland waterways.”