MONROE COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – More than $8 million in U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) grant funding will go toward rail projects at two Mississippi ports, Port Bienville in Hancock County and the City of Aberdeen Port in Monroe County.

“Ports, waterways, and the broader maritime industry are a cornerstone of Mississippi’s continued economic growth,” said U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).

“The completion of these two projects to improve port and rail coordination will expand the ability of these ports to handle more goods and services. Improved rail infrastructure at Aberdeen and Port Bienville will lift both regions economically, which is a more than worthwhile goal,” said U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.)

Details of the PIDP grants to Mississippi entail:

  • Port Bienville, Hancock County – $4.14 million for the Port Bienville Railroad (PBVR) Intermodal Yard Project involving an additional railcar storage yard to add 130 spaces and construct a siding.  The new storage yard would increase PBVR capacity by 25 percent and reduce congestion for tenants across the park.  The project would generate significant storage fee revenue and provide additional capacity to grow and attract new tenants and enhance regional partnerships and opportunities.  The federal funding also comes with a $2.52 million local match to complete the project, for a total of $6.66 million in hard infrastructure improvements.
  • City of Aberdeen Port, Monroe County –  $4 million to construct rail from the nearby Kansas City-Southern (KCS) Railroad to its area of port operations. This 14,000-linear-feet rail spur would allow local chemical and manufacturers along the KCS railroad to move products by barge through the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. The rail spur would allow the port to offer multi-modal services by connecting it to Class I rail. Currently, users must send products along the mainline to Columbus.  KCS has agreed to operate the rail spur once constructed.