$223k allotted for Ship Island ferry terminal upgrade

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - WASHINGTON, DC (WLOX) - The Ship Island ferry boat terminal in Gulfport is about to get a quarter million dollar makeover, thanks to a grant from the Federal Highway Administration.

U.S. Senator Thad Cochran announced the $223,020 grant Wednesday. The federal funding was awarded to the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) to support construction upgrades needed to meet hurricane requirements.

The grant funding was awarded from discretionary funding approved by Congress in the FY2010 appropriations bill for the Ferry Boat Discretionary Program.

"Ship Island is one of the many attractions that draw people to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and I'm pleased that this funding is being provided to improve the terminal," said Cochran, vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. "The terminal improvements are part of an overall MDOT program to improve transportation options on the coast."

An updated MDOT Statewide Transportation Improvement Program/FY2010-2013 report includes a Ship Island Terminal project presented by the Mississippi Gulf Coast Metropolitan Planning Organization that calls for $1.49 million for ferry boats and terminal upgrades. Federal and non-federal funding would be required for the project.

Congress provided $67.0 million for the Ferry Boat Discretionary Program in FY2010, an estimated $40 million of which was available for competitive grants to states.

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