The Mighty Mississippi: Taming the Bull
The beneficial use of dredge material sets a record in FY 2019. And, we’re just getting started. Funding will be the key.In mid-November 2018, concerns began to rise about an unseasonably high river stages on the Upper Mississippi River Basin generated by significant precipitation events. As a navigation representative on the Lower Mississippi River, I have unfortunately learned that the river system is changing and that precipitation around the world has been increasing for decades.
St. Louis Regional Freightway: The Year in Review
The St. Louis Regional Freightway has compiled a summary of the major developments over the past year that either elevated the St. Louis region’s global status as a world-class freight hub or will help to advance the region’s position as the country’s freight nexus in the year ahead.“From mega projects breaking ground and global companies choosing to invest here, to newly formed partnerships that strengthen the bi-state region’s role in national and global supply chains, there was much to be excited about in 2019…
MasterCraft Boat Appoints Frederick Brightbill as CEO
MasterCraft Boat Holdings announced that its Board of Directors has appointed current Board Chair, Frederick A. Brightbill, as Interim Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.Brightbill’s appointment follows Terry McNew’s decision to step down as President, Chief Executive Officer and a Director of the Company to pursue an opportunity outside of the boating industry. Brightbill is expected to serve until the Company completes a search and appoints a new Chief Executive Officer.“On behalf of the Board and the entire organization…
OP/ED: Farm Facts
USDA Study Underscores Value of Inland Waterways to U.S. Agriculture.On August 28, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Assistant Secretary of the Army (ASA) for Civil Works R.D. James toured Mel Price Locks and Dam in Alton, Illinois, and held a Town Hall Meeting to discuss the importance of the waterways, agriculture and the U.S. economy. At the event, Secretary Perdue briefed agricultural and waterways stakeholders on a newly released study – Importance of Inland Waterways to U.S. Agriculture – from the U.S.
Wrangling Big Data Into Actionable Intel
Social media, cameras, sensors and more generate huge amounts of data that can overwhelm analysts sifting through it all for meaningful, actionable information to provide decision-makers such as political leaders and field commanders responding to security threats.Sandia National Laboratories researchers are working to lessen that burden by developing the science to gather insights from data in nearly real time.“The amount of data produced by sensors and social media is booming — every day there’s about 2.5 quintillion (or 2.5 billion billion) bytes of data generated…
Illinois Waterway Closures: Look for the Workaround
A set of complicated lock-and-dam projects on the Illinois Waterway, from Chicago to the Mississippi, has yellow lights flashing throughout the Midwest freight industry. In effect, the entire Waterway will be shut down next summer as the Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island Division, starts some hefty replacement and maintenance projects, from LaGrange to Brandon Road locks and dams.Officials advise maritime, freight and agricultural businesses to look ahead now, to prepare a logistics scenario that will be ready by July 1, 2020.
ARC to Christen 3 Vessels on Friday
American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier (ARC) will christen the ARC Resolve, ARC Integrity and the ARC Independence, welcoming three of the most versatile and militarily-useful ships to the U.S.-flag commercial fleet, on Friday in the Port of Baltimore.ARC’s three, new vessels will be enrolled in the Maritime Security Program (MSP), the bedrock Congressional maritime readiness program, and the Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA).Maritime Administrator Mark H. Buzby will deliver the keynote address at the ship naming ceremony.
U.S. Agriculture Needs Waterways Upgrades
U.S. farmers and agribusinesses, as well as the overall U.S. economy and balance of trade, depend upon and benefit from the inland waterways and its infrastructure, which provide the safest, lowest-cost and most environmentally sustainable and fuel-efficient way to move grain and other agricultural products.The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) have commended the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for releasing a significant new study…
USDA Releases Powerful Inland Waterways Study
WCI/NGFA Urge NESP Infrastructure Project to Move Forward.The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) today commended the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for releasing a significant new study that quantifies the cost-savings and competitive advantages that would accrue from investing in long-delayed improvements to inland waterways locks and dams on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois River system.The study, entitled, Importance of Inland Waterways to U.S.
Creative Approach Keeps Commerce Flowing Amidst Historic Flooding
Operational changes keep Jerry F. Costello Lock and Dam open for 17 days longer than typical during high water events.While the record flooding in 2019 disrupted barge traffic throughout the inland waterways in the Midwest for extended periods this spring and summer, a little out-of-the-box thinking helped limit the number of days the Jerry F. Costello Lock and Dam was forced to close, keeping commerce flowing on the Kaskaskia River in Southern Illinois for several additional days during the persistent high water.The Kaskaskia River is a critical transportation link for several commodities…
Coast Guard Responds to Tugboat Casualties
The Coast Guard has transitioned from pollution response to the investigation phase of a major marine casualty that occurred July 5, 2019, involving three vessels that sank in the Illinois River near Hardin, Illinois.Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River received a report of three tugboats and a deck barge that were tied together and began taking on water at mile marker 20.7 on the Illinois River. Sector UMR responded to the scene to find all three vessels fully submerged.The vessels were identified as Chatty Sue Smith…
St. Louis Regional Freightway: Prepare now for Lock Closures
Lock Closures Starting on the Illinois Waterway This Summer May Result in More Freight Flowing Through St. Louis Region.Businesses that move or handle commodities on the Illinois Waterway system are being encouraged to start making alternative plans due the scheduled closure of locks on that inland waterway system. With a two-week closure planned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers beginning as early as August 2019 and closures of 90 to 120 days expected in the summers of 2020 and 2023…
USCG Responds to Three Tugboats Sinking
The Coast Guard is responding to three vessels that sunk on the Illinois River near Hardin, Illinois, Sunday.Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River received a report Friday of three tugboats and a deck barge that were tied together and began taking on water at mile marker 21 on the Illinois River.The sinking tugboats are holding approximately 4,850 gallons of diesel and oil.Sector Upper Mississippi River dispatched personnel to work with the tugboat company…
Maritime Simulation & Training: a partnership that pays off
It is truly no accident that Delgado Maritime & Industrial Training Center and Florida Marine Transport collaborate so closely.Zero incidents, zero injuries and eliminating critical barge and equipment failures doesn’t just happen by osmosis. It’s a result of continual safety training that breeds operational awareness and confidence to anticipate a difficult situation on an inland waterway before it actually occurs.With a high school education, Capt. Shelden Detrafford started out making $25/day in the 1960s.
INSIGHTS: Dennis Wilmsmeyer, Executive Director, America's Central Port
Dennis Wilmsmeyer was appointed Executive Director at America’s Central Port on July 1, 2010, prior to which he served 11 years with the Port District, six as General Manager.With over 30 years of experience, Dennis brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table in the areas of transportation, planning, and economic development. His responsibilities include developing the Port’s 1,200-acre industrial park and business campus, redeveloping a former military logistics center…
Kirby Posts 2019 Q1 Results
Kirby Corporation announced net earnings attributable to Kirby for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019 of $44.3 million, or $0.74 per share, compared with earnings of $32.5 million, or $0.54 per share, for the 2018 first quarter. Excluding certain one-time charges, 2018 first quarter net earnings attributable to Kirby were $37.9 million, or $0.63 per share. Consolidated revenues for the 2019 first quarter were $744.6 million compared with $741.7 million reported for the 2018 first quarter.David Grzebinski…
President's Request Cuts Funding for USACE
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.
Ports of Indiana: Big Successes, with Big Projects in the Wings
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.
Waterways Council Reacts to Budget Numbers
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.
USCG Slaps Illegal PV operator with Fine
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…
U.S. Army Corps Selects 10 Beneficial Use Pilot Projects
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…
OP/ED: Structuring Infrastructure
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’…
WCI Honors Senator Duckworth
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.