BUILD Grant 2019

Build Grant ImageBUILD Grant Approval for Paducah - $10.4 Million in Funding

The City of Paducah is excited to share the news received November 6, 2019, from U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that the City will be receiving significant funding through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Grant program.  In July 2019, the City submitted a grant application to the U.S. Department of Transportation requesting funding to improve various transportation elements along the downtown riverfront. 

Paducah will be receiving $10.4 million for the Riverfront Commons project which includes the following elements:

  • Riverboat Excursion Pier and Plaza - The Riverboat Excursion Pier and Plaza was identified in the 2007 Riverfront Master Plan as one of many projects to enhance Paducah’s riverfront.  The pier will provide a docking point for the riverboats that visit Paducah.  Currently, visitors disembark and must climb a steep slope from the Foot of Broadway in order to access the downtown area.  The installation will provide a safer and easier transition from boat to land, allow for more secure riverboat dockings, and move the disembarkation point out of the flow of traffic at the Foot of Broadway.
  • Bike, Pedestrian, and Broadband Linkages - Bike, Pedestrian, and Broadband Linkages will include the development of a multi-use path from 6th Street along Park Ave/3rd Street into downtown to aid in the movement of pedestrian/bike traffic from the Convention Center/Dome to downtown.  Key intersection improvements, including curb extensions, wayfinding, bus shelters and crosswalks, will make for an improved pedestrian experience.  A broadband installation along the riverfront will allow for emergency call boxes, security cameras, and hardline internet access for the transient boat dock.
  • Improvements to the landing near the Transient Boat Dock - The Transient Boat Landing improvements include connecting sidewalks from the floodwall to Greenway Trail, improving traffic control, adding landscaping to prevent erosion and providing shade, wayfinding, and amenities for users of the transient boat dock.

Leader McConnell said in a news release, “With this BUILD grant, Paducah can continue creating new opportunities for tourism, recreation and commerce along the riverfront in support of good jobs and economic growth.  Making Paducah an economic leader in our Commonwealth and the region has long been a priority for me, and I have been proud to work with Mayor Harless, Judge Clymer, and other city leaders to continue developing the riverfront and its vast potential. As Senate Majority Leader, I’m constantly looking for new opportunities for this wonderful region, and I was glad to help deliver this latest federal investment in Paducah’s bright future.”  Read Leader McConnell's Entire News Release >>

A news conference to announce and celebrate this grant award was held November 6, 2019.

BUILD Grant Announcement - November 6, 2019

BUILD Grant Concepts

At the October 13, 2020, meeting of the Paducah Board of Commissioners, City Engineer Rick Murphy showed several concept drawings for the riverboat landing area.  Plus, he provided artistic design concepts for the concrete monoliths along the riverfront which are remnants of a conveyor system for offloading materials from barges.  

To view the slide presentation from that meeting, visit Riverboat Landing Area/Concrete Monolith Concept Drawings.

Below are the concept drawings that were included in the BUILD grant application.

build grant conceptbuild grant concept

Regarding the improvements to the downtown riverfront and the concept drawings, please let us know your comments by completing the form below or by sending an email to  Your input is appreciated.

What is the BUILD Transportation Grant?

In April 2019, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced an opportunity for organizations to apply for $900 million in discretionary grant funding through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grants program.  This funding is due to the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2019.  BUILD Transportation grants replace the pre-existing Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program.

The 2019 BUILD Transportation grants are for investments in surface transportation infrastructure. They were awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant local or regional impact.  BUILD funding can support roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports, or intermodal transportation.  Projects were evaluated based on criteria giving special consideration to projects that emphasize improved access to reliable, safe, and affordable transportation for communities in rural areas. This includes projects that improve infrastructure condition, address public health and safety, promote regional connectivity, facilitate economic growth or competitiveness, deploy broadband as part of an eligible transportation project, or promote energy independence. 

For the 2019 round of BUILD Transportation grants, the maximum award was $25 million with no more than $90 million to be awarded to a single state.  Plus, at least 50 percent of funds must be awarded to projects located in rural areas.  Paducah is classified as a rural area.  Paducah submitted its application by the July 15, 2019, deadline.  

Paducah intends to leverage its transportation assets by maximizing their connectivity.  All of these elements are in the heart of Paducah's Opportunity Zone.

Leveraging Connectivity - Paducah BUILD 2019 Grant Application

Approval by Paducah Board of Commissioners

At its July 9, 2019, meeting, the Paducah Board of Commissioners approved applying for the BUILD Transportation Grant.  The City of Paducah is partnering with the Paducah-McCracken County Riverport Authority to seek grant funds totaling $15.3 million with a local match of $1.5 million.

Project Overview - Construction Elements 

(NOTE: THIS PORTION WAS NOT FUNDED) Riverport Container Transfer Yard - The container transfer yard development prepares the Riverport to support the emerging demand for Container on Barge (COB) in the four-state region.
Riverboat Excursion Pier & Plaza - The Riverboat Excursion Pier & Plaza provides an attractive, ADA-compliant transition from commercial riverboats to the riverfront and downtown Paducah.
Bike/Ped/Broadband Linkages from Convention Center to Riverfront - The Bike/Ped Linkages is a comprehensive network that connects the Marine Highway to key riverfront destinations by bike, on foot, ridesharing or by bus using a multi-use pathway, integrated wayfinding signage, and enhanced intersection & transit improvements at key intersections.  The project also features a broadband trunk installation allowing for hardline broadband service to the Transient Boat Dock fueling and reservations, security cameras and call-boxes, and web supported commerce along the riverfront.
Paducah Landing - Paducah Landing provides necessary amenities and connection to surface transportation for travelers using the Transient Boat Dock.ansportation assets by maximizing their connectivity

Project Benefits

  • Through development of a series of modal change assets, the project allows for the safe and efficient connection of people and cargo from the river to land and from the land to the river.
  • Enables efficient and safe multi-modal movement of people throughout downtown Paducah.
  • New Container on Barge (COB) capabilities will provide regional shippers with a cost-effective option to move goods to both domestic and international markets, thereby reducing semi-truck traffic on highways.
  • The new Riverboat Excursion Pier & Plaza will improve the safety for passengers exiting the riverboats by removing a significant impediment for many passengers, particularly elderly & disabled, from even disembarking: a steep 20% grade climb.
  • Enhancement of the riverfront will attract transportation-based economic development opportunities, as well as new tourism and recreational opportunities for the 4-state region.
  • Reduction of pedestrian-auto conflicts through improved intersection connections and multi-use path construction.
  • Increased usage of local transit facilities by providing instructional and route information that is readily accessible, safe & protected.
  • Improvements of the Transient Boat Dock Landing will improve safety, environmental sustainability, economic competitiveness and connectivity for guests and citizens of Paducah.

Project Funding (estimates)

BUILD grant total request: $15.3 million (91%)
Local match total: $1.5 million (9%)
Total Cost of Project: $16.8 million

  • Container on Barge: $5.32 million
  • Excursion Pier & Plaza: $6.9 million
  • Paducah Landing/Pedestrian Linkages: $4.58 million


Grant application due date:   July 15, 2019
Grant award notice:  November 12, 2019 (actually received notice on November 6, 2019)
Obligation of funds (Go to bid):  September 30, 2021
Completion of construction:   September 30, 2026


2018 BUILD Grant Application

In 2018, the City of Paducah applied for a BUILD grant.  Visit 2018 BUILD Grant to learn more about that application.