TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg came to Tampa Tuesday to announce a $12.6 million grant to expand port facilities.

The grant will be used to expand a berth at the port and allow it to handle larger container ships.
The grant is part of the $1.5 billion approved through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grant program.

“This is just what we intended when we passed the infrastructure and jobs act,” said Congresswoman Kathy Castor, who arrived with Buttigieg to announce the port expansion.

The Republican Party sent out an email in advance of the secretary’s arrival in Tampa, criticizing his handling of supply chain issues during the pandemic.

Buttigieg says this port expansion is one way to help.

“These supply chains are by their very nature national and even global, so when Port Tampa Bay can accommodate larger ships or more frequent ships, we can smooth out some of those inefficiencies,” said Buttigieg.