The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) announced today that five Kentucky riverports have been awarded $500,000 in grants from Kentucky’s Riverport Financial Assistance Trust Fund. The grants will fund necessary riverport improvements and repairs.
“Kentucky’s river cities have done great work developing our waterways as commercial assets,” said Cabinet Sec. Greg Thomas. “By making these necessary investments in our riverports we support their efforts to create a more competitive and efficient transportation infrastructure that grows the economy of the entire state.”
Riverports in Hickman, Paducah, Eddyville, Owensboro and Henderson will receive matching grants to supplement investments made by each riverport on projects like dock dredging, pavement rehabilitation, railroad repair and crane restoration.
Sen. Joe Bowen said the grant will enhance the expanding Riverport, making it more competitive and connected to a global market.
“The grant from Kentucky’s Riverport Financial Assistance Trust Fund for the City of Owensboro will be another tool in the toolbox for enhancing our expanding Riverport in our community. Bettering this global port will make Owensboro even more competitive and connected to a global market, and I look forward to seeing the new updates implemented.”
Rep. Suzanne Miles is grateful the investment will allow Henderson and Owensboro to continue to be both efficient and competitive in a global market.
“I am grateful to the Transportation Cabinet for their assistance in seeing our projects through,” said Rep. Suzanne Miles. “The riverports in Henderson and Owensboro are vital assets to the economic growth of our communities, and this investment will allow us to continue to be both efficient and competitive in a global market. I look forward to seeing the future success that occurs with the help of these important grants.”
Sen. Stan Humphries believes the grant funds will be of great benefit to Lyon and Fulton Counties as they work towards becoming competitive assets in Kentucky waterways.
“I am pleased to learn that the City of Eddyville and City of Hickman were awarded a grant from Kentucky’s Riverport Financial Assistance Trust Fund. Western Kentucky has been consistently working toward being a competitive asset in Kentucky’s waterways, and these grant funds will certainly benefit Lyon and Fulton Counties, as well as the surrounding areas.”
Rep. Steven Rudy said the funds are critical to ensuring Paducah’s economic growth is not hindered.
“The grants provided by the Transportation Cabinet will be extremely helpful as we work to make critical upgrades to our riverport,” said Rep. Steven Rudy. “Paducah has seen immense growth, and we must ensure that we are setup for continued success. The upgrades made to our docks and truck scales will allow our area to remain competitive, and I am grateful to the Transportation Cabinet for their assistance in ensuring Paducah’s economic growth is not hindered.”
Sen. Danny Carroll said the river infrastructure is imperative for efficiency, safety and the region’s transportation abilities.
“This improvement of Paducah’s city and river infrastructure must continue not only for the sake of efficiency and safety, but also to advance our region and Kentucky’s transportation abilities. I thank the Kentucky’s Riverport Financial Assistance Trust Fund for awarding Paducah this grant and I look forward to seeing the improvements continue.”
Sen. Dorsey Ridley was pleased the funding will help make the necessary restorations on the main dock crane, ensuring cargo can reach its destinations.
“I am pleased that the Riverport Authority has received funding to make the necessary restorations on the main dock crane, especially since the facility is known for its crane capacity. “It is important that this top-knotch facility has the equipment to allow it to continue to ensure that its cargo can reach its destinations in the U.S. and abroad as efficiently as possible.”
According to a 2012 study by the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kentucky moved 98 million tons of commodities worth approximately $10.1 billion by barge to 199 manufacturing facilities, terminals and docks in 2008.
Additionally, Kentucky’s riverports allow for a far more efficient transport of bulk commodities than land-based freight systems. One gallon of fuel can move 1 ton of cargo 514 miles compared to 202 by train and just 59 by truck.
“Riverports are vital to connecting Kentucky to the global economy,” Greg Curlin, chairman of the Water Transportation Advisory Board said. “We’re proud that the Trust Fund helps each Kentucky riverport upgrade critical infrastructure to prepare for export and import growth.”
Kentucky’s Riverport Financial Assistance Trust Fund and the Water Transportation Advisory Board that makes recommendations on how Trust Fund resources are allocated was created by the General Assembly in 2010. By statute KYTC administers the program and since 2013, Kentucky has awarded $500,000 in grants for public riverport upgrades each year.