Cantwell Announces $6.8 Million Grant for Deep-Water Shipping Terminal Rehabilitation at Port of Bellingham

Project will increase port capacity and cargo transportation efficiency

WASHINGTON DC – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the Ranking Member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, announced that the Port of Bellingham will receive $6,854,770 from the United States Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP) to rehabilitate its deep-water shipping terminal and move cargo more efficiently through northern Puget Sound.

Specifically, the project will revitalize and rehabilitate the rail span barge to improve barge loading and unloading and accommodate increased demand. The funding will also be used to construct a larger, more robust heavy load area, as well as to remove outcrops in front of Berth 1 that prevent ships from docking adjacent to the bull rail. In addition to increasing capacity and cargo transportation efficiency at the Port, the project is also expected to create hundreds of family wage jobs.

“According to the Port, rehabilitating the Port of Bellingham's deep-water shipping terminal will allow it to move domestic and international bulk and breakbulk cargo through the northern Puget Sound,” Senator Cantwell wrote in a letter for support for the project in October 2019. “The Bellingham Shipping Terminal project will create new opportunities for continued economic growth in our region.”

Port of Bellingham Executive Director Rob Fix said: “The Port of Bellingham thanks Senator Cantwell for her strong support to secure federal infrastructure funding to modernize the Bellingham Shipping Terminal. This grant will allow us to accommodate a much wider range of vessels and cargos, and offer a viable shipping alternative to the crowded Canadian ports just north of Bellingham.  Increasing trade and commerce at the Bellingham Shipping Terminal will create working waterfront, family-wage jobs and support state-wide, Covid-19 related economic recovery efforts.” 

Senator Cantwell coauthored the 2019 legislation that reauthorized MARAD and the PIDP grant program.