by Mindy Aguon
GUAM - The Port Authority of Guam's efforts to secure a $50 million ARRA grant has run aground. This after receiving the rejection from the Department of Transportation, the Port was banking on getting that money to jumpstart its port modernization plan.
Reacting to the announcement, Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo expressed her disappointment by saying that the Port has repeatedly been identified as a potential chokepoint for the military buildup and that the DOT's decision is a step in the wrong direction for the federal response to Guam's needs. She added that the military buildup cannot succeed if we cannot get federal funding for these clearly identified needs.
Her statement, in full, reads:
"I am deeply disappointed with the U.S. Department of Transportation's decision to not award the Port of Guam $49.7 million in port infrastructure funding," Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo said today. "Over 50 projects totaling just under $1.5 billion were awarded funding today by the U.S. Department of Transportation. However, port funding nationwide was severely limited as DOT prioritized freight rail and road and bridge improvement projects, which is disappointing given the effort that has been made to inform DOT that this grant was very important to the buildup.
"The Port of Guam has repeatedly been identified as a potential chokepoint for the military build-up, and the decision to not award the TIGER grant to the Port of Guam is a step in the wrong direction for the federal response to Guam's needs. The military build-up cannot succeed if we cannot get federal funding for these clearly identified needs. I consulted with Secretary Babauta this morning and I have been assured that federal assistance for Guam for infrastructure remains a priority of the Administration. Secretary Babauta will continue to work with us, the Department of Defense and the Department of Transportation to address the Port's needs."