Successfully funded intermodal projects underscore the benefits of investing in the U.S. transportation system, says the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors (CAGTC) (www.tradecorridors.org).
The group recently presented a compilation of successful intermodal infrastructure projects to members of Congress, along with its projection that a minimum $2 billion per year is required to support federal programs for freight gateway and corridor technology.
One example of a successful intermodal project offered by CAGTC is the funding of the Freight Action Strategy (FAST) Corridor. Funded under TEA-21, the FAST Corridor is a collection of grade separations and port access projects across Washington State designed to improve safety and streamline freight movement.
According to Senator Barbara Boxer, a member of the Environmental and Public Works Committee, “Trade is the lifeblood of the economy in many ways. It is in the public interest to have a transportation system and a highway system that works efficiently.”
Among the unmet needs identified in the CAGTC study is a rail-switching yard relocation in Rutland, Vt. In addition to improving goods movement, it would reduce the movement of hazardous materials through a populated area. “We know the current funding level for the Borders and Corridors program, at just $140 million a year, doesn’t come close to meeting our needs,” says Senator Patty Murray, ranking member, Transportation, Treasury and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee. Murray points out that requests have exceeded available funds by 15 to 1.