Illinois News

13 Mar 2019

President's Request Cuts Funding for USACE

Mike Toohey  (Photo: WCI)

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) reacted to the Trump Administration’s release of an outline of its top-line FY20 budget numbers yesterday. Today, the Corps of Engineers released its account and project-specific funding levels. For the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works program, the FY20 budget proposes $4.827 billion, a 31% cut from the FY19 appropriated amount of $7.0 billion. Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF) proposed funding in FY20 is $55.5 million, with a total of $111 million requested for the Lower Mon Project (Monongahela River, Pittsburgh), funding it to completion.

13 Mar 2019

Ports of Indiana: Big Successes, with Big Projects in the Wings

Vanta Coda, CEO at Indiana Ports

For Indiana’s state-established, but autonomous Ports of Indiana, 2018 was a record setting year, both for system-wide numbers and among the three individual Ports. These consist of Burns Harbor, on Lake Erie; Jeffersonville, on the Ohio, across from Louisville, KY; and Mount Vernon, also on the Ohio River, about 140 miles downriver from Jeffersonville.Not only were actual numbers robust, but Port officials reported “unprecedented tonnage increases” within the three-port system.

13 Mar 2019

Waterways Council Reacts to Budget Numbers

Donald J. Trump

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) reacted to the Trump Administration’s release of an outline of its top-line FY20 budget numbers yesterday. Today, the Corps of Engineers released its account and project-specific funding levels.For the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works program, the FY20 budget proposes $4.827 billion, a 31% cut from the FY19 appropriated amount of $7.0 billion.Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF) proposed funding in FY20 is $55.5 million, with a total of $111 million requested for the Lower Mon Project (Monongahela River, Pittsburgh), funding it to completion.

01 Mar 2019

USCG Slaps Illegal PV operator with Fine

Photo: U.S. Coast Guard

Representatives from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Chicago announced that the owner of two recreational pleasure boats has been fined $80,000 for operating as an illegal passenger vessel business on Lake Michigan for at least the past two years.Robert Glick of Chicago, owner of the 35-foot boats Allora and Fun, was charged with violating three separate federal regulations for each boat while operating a business that involved transporting paying passengers.The fine represents…

28 Feb 2019

U.S. Army Corps Selects 10 Beneficial Use Pilot Projects

River Raisin Dredging, Monroe, Michigan

At the end of December, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) announced its selection of ten dredging projects that will form the core of a pilot program to advance the beneficial use of dredged material.The recent U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ announcement culminated a program required by Congress, established within the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016, specifically Section 1122. Congress directed that the ten pilot projects selected were required to present environmental…

27 Feb 2019

OP/ED: Structuring Infrastructure

Michael J. Toohey is President and CEO of the Waterways Council, Inc.

The Inland Waterways View.At the start of any new year, we are often asked what our challenges will be or what we are going to do differently in the year ahead. However, in 2019, just like each year since Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) was founded in 2003, we intend to stay the course to advocate for full and efficient funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to continue its Civil Works mission to construct and maintain navigation projects on the inland waterways.The Corps’…

15 Feb 2019

WCI Honors Senator Duckworth

Photo: WCI

On February 12, 2019, Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) received Waterways Council, Inc.'s (WCI) 18th Annual Leadership Service Award for her continual championing of ports and inland waterways. She was presented the award by Wade Beasley, Business Representative, Carpenters Local 174, Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters. WCI President & CEO Mike Toohey said, “Senator Duckworth is an American hero, and a stalwart advocate for the inland waterways in her state of Illinois, and throughout the United States.

12 Feb 2019

Sherwin-Williams' Schultz Honored

Photo: Sherwin-Williams

SSPC (The Society for Protective Coatings) named Mark Schultz, Government Marine Project Development Manager for Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine Coatings, winner of the 2018-2019 John D. Keane Award of Merit. The award recognizes Schultz’s 25 years of significant contributions to the development of the protective coatings industry and to SSPC.Schultz was recognized with the award February 11, 2019, at the SSPC Coatings+ Conference in Orlando, Florida.Schultz, an SSPC Protective…

03 Jan 2019

Norfolk Southern Invests in Automation

Pic: Kalmar Americas

American transportation company Norfolk Southern has signed a deal with Kalmar, part of Cargotec, for supply of four Kalmar SmartPower rubber-tyred gantry cranes (RTGs) equipped with a suite of process automation solutions.According to a press release, the order was booked in Cargotec's 2018 Q4 order intake with delivery scheduled to be completed by the end of Q4 2019. Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates approximately 19,500 route miles in 23 states, serves every major container ports in the eastern United States and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers.

03 Dec 2018

Illinois Soybean Growers Encouraged by U.S-China Trade Talks

File Image: AdobeStock / © Lucasz Z

Lynn Rohrscheib, Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG) chairwoman and a soybean farmer from Fairmount, Ill., released the following statement in response to U.S. and China announcing continued trade discussions: â€śAs the nation’s top soybean-producing state, we are encouraged that talks are occurring between the United States and China leaders with hopes that our soybean market can be restored. Free trade and access to markets are critically important to producers’ livelihoods and profitability. We echo the need for the tariffs to be rescinded. We also need to see the promise of a Farm Bill delivered.

01 Nov 2018

U.S. Soybean Growers Mull Box Shipping as Trade War, Record Harvest Loom

Shortsea Container Shipping (File image / CREDIT Samskip)

Illinois Soybean Association Rallies U.S. Growers to Consider Shipping Via Container to Find New Markets for Anticipated Record Harvest.The anticipated bumper harvest of U.S. soybeans this fall amid a trade dispute with China presents an opportunity for growers to reach new international markets with containerized shipping. Farmers this spring sowed more soybeans than corn for the first time in 35 years. But prices have dropped since China, the world’s biggest market for soybeans, placed a 25 percent tax on imported U.S. soybeans, in response to U.S. tariffs on a swath of Chinese goods.

11 Oct 2018

Huntington Ingalls Industries Promotes Schwartz

Garry Schwartz (Photo: HII)

U.S. shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) has promotedf Garry Schwartz to president of its Mission Driven Innovative Solutions (HII-MDIS) group, part of its Technical Solutions division. He will be based in the Fairfax office and will be responsible for the overall leadership, performance, culture and growth of the HII-MDIS business.Schwartz was most recently the vice president and general manager of the training, cyber and engineering business unit within HII-MDIS. Prior to joining HII-MDIS, Schwartz was a vice president and operations manager with Alion Science and Technology.

10 Oct 2018

Excessive Rain Disrupts US River Barge Shipping

© Henryk Sadura / Adobe Stock

Excessive rains across the central United States over the past week have slowed the harvest of corn and soybeans, while rising water levels closed at least three locks on the Upper Mississippi River, a key artery for shipping Midwest grain to U.S. Gulf exporters.Cash bids for corn shipped by barge to the Gulf firmed on Tuesday, reflecting exporter demand and dwindling pipeline supplies as rising river levels slowed barge traffic.The United States is the world's top corn supplier, and sales of the yellow grain represent one U.S.

27 Sep 2018

Subchapter M Casts Off

Image Credit: Vane Brothers

Initial reports show that the towing industry is adjusting well to the new normal on inland rivers. In fact, it is business as usual for most.July 20, 2018 was a critical date for tow boat operators. That was the deadline for all U.S.-flag towing vessels – over 26 feet, or less if used to assist with transport of oil or hazardous materials – to be in compliance with Subchapter M, the U.S. Coast Guard’s towing vessel safety regulations. It’s been a long time coming. As a regulatory program…

19 Sep 2018

Olmsted: Online & Open

A USACE rendering of the Olmsted lock area infrastructure (Credit: US GAO)

After more than 30 years of frustratingly slow progress, cost overruns and more than a few mistakes, Olmsted is finally poised for success. That’s something to celebrate.It is official: The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) wants Olmsted operational by October. After more than 30 years, the ribbon cutting to officially open the Olmsted Locks and Dam took place on August 30. The very old (1929) upstream locks and dams – Nos. 52 and 53, which Olmsted is replacing – will be dismantled by December 2020. Before that happens, Olmsted’s performance will be tested and confirmed.

14 Sep 2018

APH Pushes Container on Vessel Service for St. Louis Region

The concept Container on Barge vessel underway on left.

Innovative waterway concept vessel could deliver transportation savings for shippers on the Mississippi River. Plans to transport freight via innovative waterway vessels that backers say will revolutionize the inland waterway system and provide significant transportation cost savings for shippers, especially those accessing the Midwest by utilizing the Mississippi River and its tributaries, are underway, according to Sal Litrico, CEO for American Patriot Container Transport, a…

30 May 2018

Interview: Mark Knoy, President and CEO, ACBL

Mark K. Knoy, president and CEO of American Commercial Barge Line

American Commercial Barge Line (ACBL) named Mark K. Knoy as its president and chief executive officer in August 2011. Prior to joining ACBL, he was vice president of American Electric Power’s (AEP) Fuel, Emissions and Logistics Group and president of AEP River Operations, having joined AEP with its 2001 purchase of MEMCO Barge Line. From 1984 to 1994, he was owner/operator of The Mark Twain Towing Company and Delmar Marine, Inc., Pekin, Illinois. He began his career in 1973 working aboard towboats on the inland waterways as a deck hand and then as a captain.

17 May 2018

An Unlikely and Remarkable Safety Journey

(Credit: Gregory Thorp)

Late last year, the Transportation Research Board released a major study that was undertaken “in response to the rapid development of domestic sources of energy and questions about the safest ways to move these products.” The Study Committee examined the operational responses of the three primary modes impacted by the fracking revolution – rail, pipeline and maritime. A primary observation of this work was that that the “Marine Transportation System Offers a Model for Robust Safety…

15 May 2018

Master Marine Delivers Towboat to Waterfront Services

Sam P. Hise (Photo: Master Marine)

Alabama shipbuilder Master Marine has delivered Sam P. Hise, the third towboat in a series of four newbuilds for Illinois-based inland operator Waterfront Services Co.The 67’ x 28’ boat is set up with 10,400 gallons of fuel, 4,359 gallons of potable water and 9,500 gallons of ballast water along with providing a maximum 7’ 9” working draft.Each vessel will be powered by a pair of Laborde Products, Inc. S6R2-Y3MPTAW Mitsubishi 803 HP tier III diesel marine engines to be operated at 1,400 RPM coupled to Twin Disc MG 5321, 5:1 gears, E300 electronic controls with RW Fernstrum, Inc. keel coolers.

16 May 2018

Wabash National Corporation Appoints New General Counsel

Image: Wabash National Corporation

Wabash National Corporation, a diversified industrial manufacturer and a leading producer of semi-trailers and liquid transportation systems, announced the appointment of Melanie D. Margolin as Senior Vice President and General Counsel. She will oversee all of the company’s legal affairs worldwide in areas such as corporate, commercial, regulatory, intellectual property, ethics, compliance and litigation. She brings 21 years of legal experience in a myriad of substantive areas…

20 Apr 2018

Sunken Barge Located in the Ohio River

A runaway barge that went missing after sinking near Cairo, Illinois has been located near mile marker 964 on the Ohio River on Thursday.The barge carrying pig iron is one of six that broke free from a towing vessel near mile marker 964 on Wednesday. The other five barges were quickly located and secured.The U.S. Coast Guard said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Tennessee Valley Towing working to devise a plan to salvage the sunken barge.The Olmsted Lock and Dam, which was closed due to the missing barge, was reopened Thursday. There are no waterway closures due to the incident.

25 Apr 2018

EPA Announces Funding to Reduce Diesel Emissions

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © dbvirago)

Preference given to fleets in areas facing air quality challenges. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of grant funding to modernize the nation’s diesel fleet by retrofitting or replacing vehicles with cleaner, more efficient diesel engines. EPA anticipates awarding approximately $40 million in Diesel Emission Reduction Program (DERA) grant funding to eligible applicants, subject to the availability of funds. “These grants will incentivize improvements to aging diesel fleets and improve air quality throughout the country…

09 May 2018

Inland Drydocks: Location, Location, Location

(Photo: TPG)

A recent dry dock rehab project in Chicago provides new options and money saving opportunities for inland and Great Lakes stakeholders alike.From software to steel plating, Indiana-based TPG Marine Enterprises provides a range of services in the Great Lakes and inland waterways markets. River based tug and barge services are based in Jeffersonville and Mt. Vernon, IN, on the Ohio River, as well as on Kentucky’s Green River. The company also owns TPG Chicago Dry Dock, located on the Calumet River.

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