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USACE IWR Releases Working Draft Report for Port and Inland Waterways Modernization Strategy: Options for the Future

Published April 3, 2012
The Container Ship, Regina Maersk, pushed through the Charleston Harbor, Charleston, South Carolina.

The Container Ship, Regina Maersk, pushed through the Charleston Harbor, Charleston, South Carolina.

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA - April 3, 2012. USACE Institute for Water Resources (IWR) has released a working draft report examining options for future modernization for U.S. port and inland waterways. In its Conference Report on the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 (H.R. 2055), Congress instructed IWR to report to Congress on how it should address the critical need for additional port and inland waterway modernization to accommodate post-Panamax vessels. Because of the broad stakeholder interest in these options, IWR is committed to conducting its investigation and communicating the findings in a transparent and accessible manner.

About the Working Draft Report

Congress asked that the report consider: costs associated with deepening and widening deep-draft harbors; the ability of the waterways and ports to enhance the nation's export initiatives benefiting the agricultural and manufacturing sectors; the current and projected population trends that distinguish regional ports and ports that are immediately adjacent to population centers; the availability of inland intermodal access; and environmental impacts resulting from the modernization of inland waterways and deep-draft ports.

This early draft of the report has components that are still in progress. It includes a draft executive summary to show stakeholders the direction the report authors are taking based on research to date. It incorporates information from activities and outreach efforts that were already underway and begins to incorporate feedback from discussions held through listening sessions and other venues over the last few weeks. The draft report considers the perspectives of shippers, carriers, ports, environmental interests, state and Federal agencies, and other interested parties as well as taking a national view.

Opportunity for Stakeholder Input

IWR will collect comments on the draft through April 18 and will host a webinar listening session on April 13 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. EST. To participate, please RSVP to To review summaries of comments collected during last months’ listening sessions, visit the study website.

Next Steps

The preliminary report continues development and will ultimately be reviewed by USACE Headquarters and the Executive Branch prior to being transmitted to Congress in June 2012. The study team is headed by Technical Director Keith Hofseth, Study Manager Kevin Knight, and Communications and Public Engagement Lead Hal Cardwell, all of IWR.

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