A cleaner Columbia

A Tidewater barge moves down the Columbia River in 2015 near the Wallula Gap east of Umatilla.

BOARDMAN — The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded Tidewater Barge Lines, Inc. with a $3.2 million grant to expand barge services between the Port of Morrow in Boardman and Vancouver, Washington. 

The grant reward, which was announced in both a joint news release from Oregon's Democratic Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden and a separate release from Republican Rep. Greg Walden, will include the procurement of a new barge capable of handling a combination of containers that will reduce area traffic by diverting freight to the underused marine corridor.

"This grant will directly support increased barge service through the Port of Morrow, helping grow the economy and create family wage jobs here in Eastern Oregon,” said Ryan Neal, executive director of the Port of Morrow. “As the Project Sponsor, the Port was proud to support this grant request, which hinged on the strong public-private between our community and Tidewater Barge Lines." 

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