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Owensboro Riverport receives grant to help purchase new equipment

September 9, 2020 | 12:07 am

Updated September 8, 2020 | 10:05 pm

Graphic by Owensboro Times

Gov. Andy Beshear on Tuesday announced a grant for the Owensboro Riverport Authority to go toward the purchase of a new front-end loader. It was one of five grants totaling roughly $450,000 from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet awarded for crucial repairs and equipment needs at five Kentucky riverports.

ORA is receiving $120,082 to go toward purchase of a front-end loader for daily handling of bulk products, including corrosives such as fertilizer and ammonium nitrate. The new loader will replace an unreliable 11-year-old machine.

“One of Kentucky’s greatest natural assets is our abundance of waterways,” Beshear said. “Our Kentucky riverports help move the nation’s cargo and create high-wage jobs. It’s essential to keep them modernized and well-maintained so we can continue to build that better Kentucky.”

He noted that the riverports applied for the grants and must match the state’s grant funding with their own.

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The awards were recommended by the Kentucky Water Transportation Advisory Board and administered by KTC.

Kentucky Transportation Secretary Jim Gray noted that the Commonwealth has a comprehensive transportation system comprising multiple modes.

“Riverports are as indispensable as air, rail and highway for the movement of cargo and bulk commodities,” Gray said. “They create high-wage jobs, support our economy and help keep Kentucky competitive.”

ORA President/CEO Brian Wright was unable to be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.

The remaining grants were awarded to: 

  • Eddyville Riverport and Industrial Development Authority – $109,890 toward repair of erosion of embankment that supports a boat lift near a boat repair bay
  • Henderson County Riverport Authority – $108,000 toward removal and replacement of two 40-year-old, damaged mooring structures called “dolphins” that are essential to operation of the loading docks
  • Louisville-Jefferson County Riverport Authority – $95,792 toward repair of rail line by replacing 1,000 wooden crossties and 49 switch ties
  • Paducah-McCracken County Riverport Authority – $16,236 toward repair of a loading chute on the conveyor system that moves commodities from the river to the riverport’s sand and gravel yard.

September 9, 2020 | 12:07 am

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