The US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) has earmarked over $545,000 in federal grant money for the Ports of Indiana to build a steel barge shuttle with Nucor Steel at the Ohio river port in Jeffersonville.
The development will improve the flow of steel coil shipments at the state’s port, according to officials. The plan benefits Nucor along with its private sector partners by allowing for barge shipments of coils from Ghent, Kentucky, to the Jeffersonville port, while also removing more than 2,000 trucks from highways and shortening on-way truck hauls by over 130,000 miles.
Ports of Indiana senior vice president Jody Peacock said the contribution offers vital funding for the mission so that Nucor can improve use of its Jeffersonville port’s cargo handling resources.
Jeff Miles, Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville port director, voiced enthusiasm in teaming up with Nucor because the port is essential for connecting multimodal steel shipments. There are 13 Midwest companies within the project site that are part of the steel industry, which makes the location a central shipping point for domestic steel producers, fabricators and automakers, Miles added.
The grant award funds a total project cost of almost $779,000, which includes building an outdoor storage area and the purchase of a forklift to handle steel coils at the port. MARAD granted $9.5mn in total contributions to eight marine highway projects in the US under the America’s marine highway program.
The grants provide improvements to navigable waterways and will help develop marine freight services in Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Louisiana, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington, New York, New Jersey, and American Samoa.