Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced over $1.6 million in federal grant funding that will help the Port of Morrow make critical infrastructure improvements to support expanded barge shipment services.
“The Port of Morrow is an economic engine in eastern Oregon. These important investments will ensure the continued success of the Port to keep supporting the local economy and generating good jobs that pay the bills,” Wyden said.
“Ports like the Port of Morrow provide the kinds of good, reliable jobs that Oregonians can raise their families on, while making it possible to ship products to and from our communities and businesses,” said Merkley. “Working with local community leaders to secure this critical grant, we now have the opportunity to enhance the Port’s marine terminals, expand barge shipment services to and from the Port, and ensure that a critical pillar in Boardman’s economy will thrive for generations to come.”
The funding is administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation “America’s Marine Highway Grants” program and will allow the Port to enhance marine terminals, including improving marine barge navigations access, updating an existing crane with a new control system, purchasing a container handler and more. These investments will support the Port of Morrow barge service extension.
“This grant is a huge win for economic development and job creation in eastern Oregon. With these funds, we will be able to facilitate increased barge service at the Port of Morrow with the rest of the Columbia-Snake River system by making the necessary infrastructure improvements, including dredging to open up a terminal slip that sediment buildup has rendered unusable for several years,” said Port of Morrow Executive Director Ryan Neal. “Securing these funds was not a simple process and first required a formal designation from MARAD, making our project one of just thirty-four nationwide and only one of three on the West Coast. I would like to express our thanks to Senator Merkley, Senator Wyden, and Rep. Walden for going above and beyond with their support at every step of the process. With their help, the expanded barge service under this project will help create family wage jobs in the region, reduce transportation costs, and alleviate highway and rail congestion. ”