AP NEWS

Mississippi gets grant to improve Port of Gulfport access

February 11, 2020 GMT

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi State Port Authority is receiving a $15.8 million federal grant to improve highway access to the Port of Gulfport.

Members of the state’s congressional delegation announced the grant Tuesday. The port authority will have to provide $3.94 million to go with the federal money.

The federal and state money will be used for road and safety infrastructure improvements to 1.2 miles (1.9 kilometers) of 30th Avenue, including a bridge over U.S. Highway 90.

“The Port of Gulfport is critically important to the Mississippi Gulf Coast economy, as well as the economy of the Southeastern United States,” Republican U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker said in a news release. “This grant will improve access to the port, making it a more attractive option for commerce and trade and improving safety for employees and visitors to the coast.”

Wicker, Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and Republican U.S. Rep. Palazzo wrote letters of support to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The Port of Gulfport is one of the top 25 container ports in the U.S. and is the second-largest importer of green fruit in the nation, according to the news release. It recently completed a $570 million restoration and expansion.

“Mississippi has invested so much in rebuilding the Port of Gulfport into a port of the future,” Hyde-Smith said. “This infusion of federal funding will help ensure port access to serve not only commerce, but the public.”