NEW BEDFORD — A grant awarded to the Port of New Bedford will improve its infrastructure and environment, Massachusetts' federal Congressional delegation announced on Thursday.

The Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant is valued at $15.4 million. The funding is from the Department of Transportation and will be used to extend the port’s bulkhead. The addition will provide ample room for 60 addition commercial vessels while also creating additional sites for offshore wind staging.

The project will also include the removal of 250,000 cubic yards of contaminated materials and provide the beneficial use of 130,000 cubic yards of sediment.

“Christmas has come early for the Port of New Bedford, and all of the hard-working fishermen, off-shore wind stagers, and residents who rely on the Port’s success,” Sen. Ed Markey said in a statement. “With this BUILD Grant, New Bedford will be able to make much needed improvements and expansions to the Port, while eradicating harmful environmental contaminants.”

"This significant federal investment to improve and modernize the Port of New Bedford is wonderful news, and will help revitalize the local economy while making the Port more environmentally sustainable,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren. “I’m glad to partner with my colleagues to secure critical funding for projects like these across Massachusetts.”

“This is a significant amount of federal funds that will unlock the potential of the harbor and the City, further positioning the SouthCoast as a key hub – domestic and international – of the emerging Blue Economy,” U.S. Rep. Bill Keating said in a statement. “This grant will also support our long-standing fishing industry, create hundreds of new and permanent local jobs, and lead to increased state and private investment in New Bedford’s commercial sector."

In July, Markey, Warren, and Keating sent a letter to the Department of Transportation, urging Secretary Elaine Chao to provide this funding to the Port of New Bedford.

“This is a win-win-win that helps clean our harbor, creates a much-needed new asset for our fishing industry,” Mayor Jon Mitchell said in a statement. He said it also “opens the door to new opportunities in offshore wind energy and other marine industries. It is truly a great day for our City and our Port.”

Follow Michael Bonner on Twitter @MikeBBonnerSCT