October 15, 2010

$10.5 Million TIGER Grant Will Modernize Port of Providence and Boost Job Creation

PROVIDENCE, RI – Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation today announced that Providence will receive $10.5 million in federal funding to help create hundreds of jobs and transform the Port of Providence into a modern marine cargo center that will diversify shipping options in the region.

The Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant II, which was created by Congress in the 2010 Transportation Appropriations Act, will go towards the purchase and installation of two high performance harbor cranes which will enhance the port’s ability to continue its existing bulk material operations while expanding its capabilities to accommodate container operations, alleviating demand on the Port of Boston – the only existing container port in New England.   These new cranes are critical for the port, which has relied on 30-year-old rented cranes that have been prone to breakdowns and have been out service for prolonged periods. 

The project is estimated to remove on average 1,000 trucks per week off the northeast corridor highway system – one of the most congested in the country. 

ProvPort Inc., a nonprofit public-private partnership formed in 1994, owns and operates the municipal port of the City of Providence – the Port of Providence. The port is an important center of economic activity and over the past 15 years has increased its marine cargo throughput from 750,000 tons to 3.2 million tons per year. As a result, port related employment climbed from 800 to 2,400 jobs.

According to a study conducted by Bryant University, the initial investment will generate more than $120 million in economic stimulus and more than 550 jobs in Rhode Island and nearly 930 jobs nationally.

The entire Congressional delegation wrote a letter of support for ProvPort’s application to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood: “We commend this project that will modernize and enhance the Port of Providence’s operations to facilitate economic growth and job creation in Rhode Island and the region,” Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Representatives Patrick Kennedy and Jim Langevin wrote.

“This funding will create jobs and help give Providence’s economy a shot in the arm.  Making these upgrades at the Port of Providence will help build the capacity of Rhode Island to be an important regional hub for shipping,” said Senator Jack Reed.

“I’m glad that, working together, the congressional delegation was able to deliver more than $10 million in federal funds to support the ongoing development of the Port of Providence,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.  “This funding will boost our economy by creating hundreds of jobs, and is a smart and lasting investment in our state’s future.” 

“The expanded capacity made possible by this funding will ensure that Providence plays a central role in the New England economy,” said Representative Patrick Kennedy.  “Infrastructure investment is critical to Rhode Island’s economic recovery as it generates quality jobs now and lays the groundwork for sustainable future prosperity.”

“More transportation funding coming to Rhode Island to improve infrastructure of our ports, is good news for everyone,” said Representative Jim Langevin. “From easing congestion on our roads to creating jobs, funding like this is a perfect remedy to get our economy back on track and keep our state competitive.”

“I could not be more thrilled for this significant federal investment in the Port of Providence, which will enable the transformation of the Port to a renewable, modern, highly competitive marine cargo center, protecting the more than 2000 existing jobs and creating more than 1000 new good-paying jobs. I’m deeply grateful to Senator Reed and the entire delegation for making this a priority in Washington. This is an important day for the Port, the City, and every resident of this state,” said Providence Mayor David Cicilline.

“This is great news for the City and the Port of Providence.  I would like to thank our Congressional delegation for their efforts to help secure this federal funding.  This federal investment will allow us to create new, good-paying blue collar jobs here in Providence and enhance our capacity to expand.  It gives us an opportunity to work more closely with Quonset to make Rhode Island a major force in the maritime industries,” said William Brody, General Counsel for ProvPort.

Nearly $19 billion in bids were submitted nationwide for the $600 million available from the TIGER II program.   The TIGER II program is similar, but not identical to the TIGER grant program that was authorized under the 2009 Recovery Act.   In February of 2010, Quonset Point received over $22.3 million in TIGER grant funding to help create green jobs, develop alternative energy sources, and alleviate highway congestion.


Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921