Friday, March 16, 2012

Army Corps Developing Port and Inland Waterways Modernization Strategy

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Public Comment Period Open Through April 15
The Panama Canal expansion will almost triple the size of container vessels able to transit the canal. In anticipation of a projected 2014 completion of the canal expansion effort, on December 21, 2011, Congress directed the Army Corps of Engineers Institute for Water Resources (IWR) to submit a report by June 20, 2012 to the Senate and House Appropriations Committees “on how the Congress should address the critical need for additional port and inland waterway modernization to accommodate post-Panamax vessels.”

In response to that directive, the IWR is investigating the impacts of the Panama Canal expansion on future U.S. marine transportation system needs. Specifically, IWR is evaluating the costs associated with deepening and widening deep-draft harbors; ability of inland waterways and ports to enhance export initiatives benefiting the agricultural and manufacturing sectors; current and projected population trends that might predict regional port maintenance and expansion needs; availability of inland intermodal access; and environmental impacts resulting from the modernization.

The IWR study team will accept additional information and feedback through April 15 for consideration in its initial drafts of the strategy document. Interested persons can visit this U.S. Port and Inland Waterways Modernization Strategy web page for further information. 

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