The terminal will be located in the Spruce Lake Industrial Park and include the construction of an access road and a wharf bulkhead.
Premier Brian Gallant says the facility will allow fabricating companies to bid on large construction projects throughout Atlantic Canada and the eastern United States.
The province is spending $3 million, which is being matched by the federal government through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.
Lois Vincent, president of the board of directors of Saint John Industrial Parks Ltd., says the barge terminal will help attract new tenants.
It will allow manufactured pieces that are too large to be shipped by road or rail to be transported via waterways.
Thirty five companies are tenants of the industrial park and they employ more than 500 people.