MARAD Awards $2.25 Million to Ports of Indiana-Mount Vernon

September 28, 2023

Source: Ports of Indiana
Source: Ports of Indiana

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) has awarded Ports of Indiana a $2.25 million grant to assist in the purchase of a heavy-lift crane at Ports of Indiana-Mount Vernon. This is the first federal grant for the Mount Vernon port, and it will allow handling of new large project cargo and dimensional steel shipments.

The award was one of eight projects funded by MARAD through the $12 million US Marine Highway Grant Program, which is designed to improve movement of goods on the inland rivers by assisting ports in the purchase of low-emissions, US-manufactured equipment. Ports of Indiana worked with Ohio River steel shippers to identify the need for a 120-ton crane, which will double the port’s lift capacity, improve safety, and help decrease carbon emissions through major improvements in operational and logistics efficiencies.

“This is an important project that will allow our port to handle new cargoes and create significant public benefits by shipping larger cargoes by water,” said Jason May, port director at Ports of Indiana-Mount Vernon. “By combining the speed and efficiency of our existing 60-ton dual-lift overhead crane with the heavy-lift capacity and flexible lifting structure of this new crane, we are positioning this port as a critical multimodal hub for steel and general cargo.”

The Mount Vernon port is Indiana’s largest port by acreage and cargo shipments, occupying 1,200 acres and shipping an average of six million tons per year. It is home to 14 companies and 600 acres of available industrial sites with access to five Class I railroads. The port is currently conducting a request for proposal process for a general cargo terminal operator and an intra-port rail switcher.  

Ports of Indiana’s grant application received letters of support from key regional leaders and partner organizations, including US Senators Mike Braun and Todd Young, Congressman Larry Bucshon, State Senators Mark Messmer and Jim Tomes, State Rep. Wendy McNamara, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Indiana Department of Transportation, Posey County Board of Commissioners, City of Mount Vernon, Evansville Regional Economic Partnership, Conexus Indiana, Inland Rivers & Port Terminals, Continental Grain & Barge and Barnhart Crane & Rigging.

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