FRANKFORT, Ky – Gov. Andy Beshear announced on Thursday $500,000 in awards for critical repairs and equipment replacement at five Kentucky riverports.
The funding is in the form of grants to be matched by the authorities that operate the riverports, which are at Paducah, Eddyville, Hickman, Owensboro and Louisville.
The awards, recommended by the Kentucky Water Transportation Advisory Board and administered by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, will fund five projects at the following five riverports:
Owensboro Riverport Authority
$34,807 toward purchase of a compact track loader for daily handling of bulk products. The new loader will be used on the new spud barge for marine construction activities and will be one of three loaders used for daily operations.
Eddyville Riverport and Industrial Development Authority
$126,500 toward repair of the main loading dock to improve safety and prevent issues caused by corrosion of the steel components. The project will involve replacing eroded dock tieback rods, installing new whalers and steel plates on the dock, grouting to fill voids and installing new precast concrete fenders.
Hickman Fulton County Riverport Authority
$136,265 to replace a 40-year old front-end loader with a newer model used to load and unload bulk materials between trucks and barges. The loader is essential to material handling operations.
Louisville-Jefferson County Riverport Authority
$178,803 toward construction of a 1,775-foot rail line to bypass an outer rail loop in a high traffic area. The new rail infrastructure will improve safety and allow rail traffic to move more efficiently in and out of the port.
Paducah-McCracken County Riverport Authority
$23,625 to purchase a clamshell bucket used to transfer bulk products. This will replace one of two aging clamshell buckets that require frequent maintenance. The new equipment will bring reliability, eliminate lost time due to repairs and improve safety for the machine operator.
The 2021 Kentucky General Assembly appropriated the funding for the grants, and riverports applied for the grants to the Water Transportation Advisory Board. The Board includes seven industry members appointed to serve a four-year term by Gov. Beshear to advise on matters related to water transportation. Duties range from evaluating riverport grant requests to recommending action to optimize waterway and riverports for future economic growth. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) staff provides technical support.