Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Improving Ports and Waterways in Minnesota


A barge.

The need

A cornerstone of the Minnesota Port Development Assistance Program (PDAP) is improved access to waterways transportation that benefits Minnesota industries and the public.

The goal

Program assistance is used to upgrade facilities and infrastructure, as well as to rehabilitate and expand port capacity.

How the program works

For each port improvement project, the Port Development Assistance Program involves a maximum state match of 80 percent funding and a local match of at least 20 percent.

Benefits and impacts

  • New or expansion dredging to maximize ship draft at dock areas
  • Dock wall construction
  • Building, rehabilitating or retrofitting of new technologies for port structures and facilities
  • Improving road and rail access to port areas
  • Upgrading plumbing and electrical to meet safety codes

Did you know?

Minnesota has invested $25 million in terminal infrastructure improvements for 33 projects at public ports on Lake Superior and the Mississippi River. These projects include:

  • Replacement roof on the Duluth Port Authority's receiving warehouse: $262,715 or 58.4% of project cost
  • Rehabilitated lower seawall of barge in a terminal of St. Paul Port Authority: $250,000 or 25% of project cost
  • Newly constructed municipal dock at Winona Port Authority: $995,945 or 66.4% of project cost
  • Rehabilitated dock area for truck parking at Winona Port Authority: $320,000 or 80% of project cost