Wednesday, January 21 2009
Major Jonathan Weinzapfel is working on finding a solution to build a slack water port. A slack water port is a protected bay off a river system containing a steady level of water to allow ships to load cargo more easily.
This certainly would benefit
River port upgrade suggested
A slack water port in
Those were some of the conclusions of a feasibility study on whether
They concluded that while the current economic downturn may make it difficult to grow the port, opportunities for funding could become available through President Barack Obama's economic stimulus plan.
"Pending legislative stimulus programs will favor infrastructure projects which promote independence from foreign oil," according to the study.
The city has filed a letter with the Army Corps of Engineers expressing interest in developing a slack water port.
A slack water port is a protected bay located off a river system containing a steady level of still water to allow ships to more easily load cargo. Slack water ports are common on the
The study recommends that the city conduct a cost-benefit analysis of a slack water port and appeal to Rep. Brad Ellsworth, D-Ind., and Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., to include the project in future transportation economic stimulus programs. If funding is not available, the project should be reviewed when diesel fuel prices approach $4 per gallon, the study recommends.
High fuel prices increase demand for transporting goods on waterways because barges use significantly less fuel than trucks, according to the study.
That was the case last July when the average price of diesel rose to $4.70 per gallon. As a result, about 7 percent of the county's trucking companies closed in 2008, a year in which the industry saw fuel costs surpass wages as its No. 1 expense, according to the study.
Evansville Port Authority President Herve Vezina wants to review the study before making conclusions.
City Attorney David Jones, who is an advocate of an
The study identified two areas that could be developed: an area around the Global American Terminals (Kinder Morgan) and a second and much larger tract of land across from the CSX Howell Yard offices and roundhouse on