By Pacific Island Times News Staff
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) has approved the Port Authority of Guam’s request for a $17.9 million grant under the Rebuilding America Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program.
The grant will partially cover the financing of the Port Authority's $22 million project involving upgrades to wharves F1 through F6 to support ship-to-shore gantry crane operations.
Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said efforts to improve the Jose D. Leon Guerrero Commercial Port of Guam are designed to meet the expectations of organic growth and its strategic importance to the ongoing military buildup.
"As the ‘tip of the spear’ in the Western Pacific, the viability of the Port is paramount to sustaining the Department of Defense’s operational effectiveness and mission readiness in the region,” the governor said.
“Our vibrant partnership with MARAD has been a critical component of our modernization program and the aggressive long overdue project funded under this program supports the necessary upgrades that will further enhance the Port’s core capabilities and resiliency," said Rory Respicio, general manager of the port.
Port officials said the project will specifically address sheet piles and concrete cap spallings at the face of the port’s F2, F3, F4 and F6 wharves as well as the deteriorating structure of F1 fuel pier.
Officials said the initiative will ensure the sustainability of Guam’s vital port infrastructure, securing the island’s capacity to continue to receive over 90 percent of all imported goods.
This proposed project was initially submitted to FEMA’s FY2020 Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. Because the project was more than just a mitigation initiative and although favorably rated, it was not awarded.
With the belief that this project was in the best interest of the Jose D. Leon Guerrero Commercial Port of Guam, the entire island as a whole, and the entire Pacific Region, the PAG resubmitted the initiative to the FY2021 RAISE Grant Program on July 2021, making pertinent revisions to localize and comply with MARAD’s stringent grant requirements and conditions.