Washington: The US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration announced three new Marine Highway projects on Monday.
In a release Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx identified the projects as: the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers; the Potomac River Commuter Ferry Project; and one to destinations east of the Hudson River.
America’s Marine Highway System consists of over 29,000 nautical miles of navigable waterways including rivers, bays, channels, the Great Lakes, the Saint Lawrence Seaway System, coastal, and open-ocean routes.
The programme works to incorporate these waterways into the greater US transportation system, providing new modal choices to shippers of cargo and reducing transportation costs.
It should also provide public benefits such as reduced air emissions, reduced road maintenance costs, and improved safety and resiliency impacts.
As for the three new routes, the Mississippi and Illinois one – previously designated as the M-55 and M-35 – connects Chicago and Minneapolis to New Orleans. It will include the principal routes for a new container-on-barge service being developed by communities along the rivers.
The Potomac River Commuter Ferry Project, previously designated M-495, will connect work and residential centres along the Potomac, Occoquan and Anacostia Rivers.
And the third route will provide alternatives for freight arriving at and departing from the Port Newark, New Jersey, Container Terminal.