In a letter to congressional leaders, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced that PhilaPort, the Port of Philadelphia, is expected to receive $25.5 million to complete the second phase of a multi-phase improvement plan at the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal. The project supports the economic strengths of the region’s ports and maritime industry through enhancements that will increase operating capacity and generate economic benefits. This investment will enable our region to fully realize the benefits of Delaware River Deepening Project by increasing the port’s capacity to service post-Panamax vessels visiting the port, including larger vessels than can currently be handled.
According to USDOT, the investment will help modernize the Terminal and ensure that it has sufficient berthing, crane, and terminal capacity to meet accelerated growth of our regional ports. The proposed improvements include the demolition of old warehouse facilities, the addition of new pavement and new crane rail tracks, the conversion of two diesel engine cranes to electrical engine cranes, the installation of four new electric engine cranes, the retrofit of an existing offsite warehouse, and the construction of a new temperature controlled warehouse.
The CEO Council for Growth, a council of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, recognizes the importance of our area ports as a gateway to the rest of the world. For years, the CEO Council has successfully advocated for investments to deepen the Delaware River shipping channel to accommodate today’s larger ships carrying more cargo, thereby reducing the cost of moving cargo through the ports. More recently, the CEO Council is actively advancing a transportation strategy, Connecting our Region, that calls for a number of improvements including greater freight access to and from the Terminal to foster the increased freight movements as a result of the shipping channel deepening and terminal capacity enhancements.
USDOT notified congressional authorizing committees of jurisdiction last week of 26 projects selected to receive a total of approximately $1.5 billion. The list must remain with the committees for a 60-day review period before the agency can award the grants. This important $25.5 million federal investment follows the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s comprehensive Capital Investment Program at the Port of Philadelphia that invests more than $300 million in the Port’s infrastructure, warehousing, and equipment which began in 2017.