FW: AMERICA'S MARINE HIGHWAY PROGRAM
From: Joe & Marianne Giambrone [mailto:giambrone@...]
Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 12:49 PM
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Subject: AMERICA 'S MARINE HIGHWAY PROGRAM
AMERICA 'S MARINE HIGHWAY PROGRAM
The Value of America 's Marine Highway
Congestion in our transportation system costs Americans an estimated $200 billion every year, or 4.2 billion hours in traffic, and a staggering 2.9 billion gallons of fuel which continues to fluctuate daily (today's crude barrel price), idling it into the atmosphere in the form of greenhouse gas. And we are facing a capacity crunch as we look to the future. As a striking example, the Federal Highway Administration report entitled, "Estimated Cost of Freight Involved in Highway Bottlenecks – Final Report" (Nov. 12, 2008)", that there are, on average, currently 10,500 trucks per day per mile on the Interstate Highway System. By 2035, this is projected to more than double, when there will be 22,700 trucks, with the most heavily used portions of the system seeing upwards of 50,000 trucks per day per mile.
America’s Marine Highway is currently underutilized. This vast system of more than 25,000 miles of coastal, inland, and intracoastal waterways already moves about 1.4 billion tons of freight annually, but this represents only about 2 percent of our domestic freight. Expanding the use of this valuable resource will not only help mitigate the gridlock of landside congestion, but also offers significant opportunities to help reduce emissions, decrease our dependence on oil, and find alternatives to costly maintenance and construction of highway and railroad infrastructure.
There are already more than 25 Marine Highway services operating around the country. They currently provide reliable, efficient transportation services with the benefits of reduced emissions and energy savings. You can do your part today - Click on the map to the left to find a clean Marine Highway service to ship your freight or vehicles now.
As we look ahead, the future of America ’s Marine Highway is brighter than ever before, with the launch of the new America ’s Marine Highway Program promising to help accelerate the expanded use of this valuable national network of corridors to transport even more freight and passengers in a greener, more efficient and responsible manner. Please see the America 's Marine Highway brochure or scroll down for more information.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 includes discretionary funds for the surface transportation system which includes America 's Marine Highways. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provides the Secretary of Transportation with $1.5 billion in discretionary funds for capital investments in our surface transportation infrastructure. The Secretary is required to award the funds on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant impact on the Nation, a metropolitan area or a region. Eligibility for these funds include, but is not limited to, port infrastructure investments and projects that connect ports to other modes of transportation while improving the efficiency of freight movement.
The Maritime Administration is working with the Office of the Secretary and other Department of Transportation Agencies to develop selection criteria for this discretionary grant program. A complete package for this program will be available in the next 30 to 60 days.
Energy Independence & Security Act of 2007
In December 2007, the President signed the Energy Independence and Security Act, directing the Secretary of Transportation to establish a program aimed at expanding the use of America ’s Marine Highway as an extension of the surface transportation system to mitigate landside congestion. As the first step in developing the program, the Department of Transportation published an interim final rule on Oct. 9, 2008; you can also see the Stay of Effectiveness.
The proposed rule establishes a framework to provide federal support to both institutionalize and expand the use of America ’s Marine Highway . It has four primary components:
- Marine Highway Corridors: Designating Corridors will integrate the Marine Highway into the surface transportation system and encourage the development of multi-jurisdictional coalitions to focus public and private efforts and investment.
- Marine Highway Project Designation: Designating Marine Highway Projects is aimed at mitigating landside congestion by starting new or expanding existing services to provide the greatest benefit to the public in terms of congestion relief, improved air quality, reduced energy consumption and other factors. Designated Projects will receive direct support from the Department of Transportation.
- Incentives, Impediments and Solutions: The Maritime Administration, in partnership with public and private entities, will identify potential incentives and seek solutions to impediments to encourage utilization of the Marine Highway and incorporate it, including ferries, in multi-state, state and regional transportation planning.
- Research: The Department of Transportation, working with the Environmental Protection Agency, will conduct research to support America ’s Marine Highway , within the limitations of available resources. Research would include environmental and transportation benefits, technology, vessel design, and solutions to impediments.
Vessels engaged in Marine Highway operations now also qualify for Capital Construction Fund benefits. This program was created to assist owners and operators of U.S.-flag vessels in accumulating the capital necessary for the modernization and expansion of the U.S. merchant marine.
Marine Highways News
Please see the latest on America 's Marine Highways...
America's Marine Highway Program is supported in various ways, including through reports and publications from Government as well as academia. Refer to the Program's Reference Library for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions
For further information, please refer to the Program's Frequently Asked Questions. If you need additional information, please contact Michael Gordon in the Office of Marine Highways and Passenger Services at 202-366-5468.