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.
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’…
Burns Harbor Extends Key Partnership
The Port of Indiana Burns-Harbor has extended its partnership with its longtime stevedore and marine terminal operating company, Federal Marine Terminals.A press note from the Ports of Indiana, a statewide port authority operating three ports on the Ohio River and Lake Michigan, said that the deal will run through at least 2023."FMT has been a vital collaborator with the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor since 1999," said Port Director Ian Hirt, "and this consolidated operating agreement…
Update: Coast Guard Responds to Tug and Barge Accident on the Ohio River
The Coast Guard, the Army Corps of Engineers and Tennessee Valley Towing Company, the responsible party, are continuing their response to a tug and barge accident on the Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky, Wednesday.The water at the McAlpine Dam rose approximately three feet over the course of the past 24 hours causing one additional barge to sink. Nine barges are currently lying on the dam just above the falls. Seven of the nine barges sank.The Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers, and the responsible party are working together to evaluate the ever-changing situation each day.
Coast Guard Reopens Ohio River for Restricted Movements
The Coast Guard, the Army Corps of Engineers and Tennessee Valley Towing Company, the responsible party, are continuing their response to a tug and barge accident on the Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky, Thursday.The Coast Guard reopened the Ohio River to all vessel traffic from Twelve Mile Island to McAlpine Lock and Dam.Traffic movement is currently only permitted during daylight hours and with an assist vessel, which is available pre-stationed at McAlpine Lock and Dam.Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley received a report at approximately 8:10 p.m.…
Ohio River Closed Near Louisville after Barge Breakaway
A section of the Ohio River near Louisville, Ky. has been closed to all vessel traffic after 15 loaded coal barges broke away from a towing vessel that made contact with a bridge in the area.The U.S. Coast Guard said its watchstanders at Sector Ohio Valley received a report at approximately 8:10 p.m., Tuesday, that the towing vessel Debbie Graham, made contact with the 2nd Street Bridge, causing the 15 coal barges that it was pushing to break free. The cause of the incident is…
The Top 10 Maritime Stories for 2018
Choosing the ‘top stories of 2018’ was, this year, a difficult task. Many compelling story threads played out, dramatically impacting the North American waterfront, and in particular, the workboat sector – each in their own unique way. Read on to find out how and why.Autonomous Vessels: Ready or Not, Here They ComeFuturistic, remote-controlled autonomous marine vehicles aren’t coming. They are here. As the pace of change quickens, autonomous vessels are already providing service and value on the water.
Olmsted: Online & Open
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.
Staying Afloat with Strong Workboat Insurance
When it comes to insuring your assets, changing markets and risk variables demand better understanding of the underwriting process, as well as a long-term, stable relationship with an insurer who – like you – is in for the long run.U.S. inventor Thomas Edison once said, “There is no substitute for hard work.” Nobody knows this better than the men and women who operate diverse and industrious workboat fleets.Ferrying commuters, towing dry and liquid bulk, and assisting larger ocean…
An Unlikely and Remarkable Safety Journey
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…
Inland Drydocks: Location, Location, Location
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.
Tech File: Material Handler Boosts Paducah’s Productivity
Located at the confluence of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, the Ohio River and the Cumberland River and just upstream from the Mississippi, the City of Paducah is an important hub in the inland waterways network. In 2015, newly appointed Paducah-McCracken County Riverport Authority Executive Director Bill Miller’s first priority was to upgrade the port’s infrastructure.“Our 20 year old lattice boom crane was past its useful service life,” he said, adding, “So the Board for the Riverport Authority authorized a bid spec to replace it with the best available equipment.” Today…
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.
Runaway Barge Sinks in the Ohio River
Divers are working to pinpoint the location of a runaway barge that sank in the Ohio River near Cairo, Illinois, on Wednesday.The U.S. Coast Guard said the missing barge is one of six to have broken free from a towing vessel near mile marker 964. The other five barges have been located and secured.Divers are scheduled to search using side scan sonar.The sunken barge is carrying a cargo of pig iron.The Army Corps of Engineers has closed the Olmsted Lock and Dam until the lost barge is located.The Coast Guard is broadcasting a safety message to notify mariners of the situation.
Jeffboat Announces Plant Closure
Jeffboat announced this morning the pending closure of its shipyard operations in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Following recent Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) notices of November 1, 2017 and February 1, 2018 announcing layoffs, Jeffboat president and CEO Mark Knoy said they will finish construction of barges around the first of May. Following the closure, Jeffboat will be reviewing the best alternative uses for the 65 acres of riverfront property currently occupied by the shipyard.
Op/Ed: Disconnect from River to Washington
Just before the anticipation of good things to come on Valentine’s Day, on February 12, the inland waterways transportation industry was left feeling disappointed and puzzled after the release of the long-awaited Trump Administration infrastructure principles, and then the release of President Trump’s FY 2019 budget request. During the Presidential campaign, then-candidate Trump said he would undertake a $1 trillion infrastructure initiative that would focus on a wide array of projects, from sewer systems to bridges to Veterans Hospitals to rural broadband expansion.
Flooding Cripples Grain Barge Shipments in U.S. Midwest
Grain barge shipping came to a near standstill in parts of the U.S. Midwest on Thursday as recent heavy rain and melting snow swelled rivers, halted barge loading and sidelined the towboats that haul farm belt crops to Gulf Coast export terminals. The flooded waterways sent cash premiums for corn barges delivered to Gulf Coast terminals soaring. Rates hit peaks on Thursday that have not been seen in 18 months, as exporters scrambled to secure enough grain to top off vessels bound for overseas markets, traders said.
Ports of Indiana: Building on Success
The Ports of Indiana is a statewide port authority, established in 1963, which operates three ports: two on the Ohio River, one on Lake Michigan. Port officials refer to the three as “America’s Premier Inland Port System.” They cite location, location, location, providing access via two critical freight arteries – the Great Lakes and the Inland Waterway System and proximity to the world’s most productive industrial and agricultural regions. The Ports is the only statewide port authority in the Midwest.
Trump’s Infrastructure Proposals Disappoint -WCI
Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) reacted to the Trump Administration infrastructure principles released today, expressing disappointment that the proposal moves toward eliminating the role of the Federal government to construct, operate and maintain the nation’s waterways by transferring that responsibility to nonfederal public or private entities. The President’s FY2019 budget request and the infrastructure initiative also propose to modernize the waterways transportation system…
Riverboat Touring: Status Quo or Ready to Grow?
If you want to book a plush river cruise vacation in America’s heartland – say on the Mississippi or Ohio Rivers – you can do it. The American Queen Steamboat Company’s website offers as many as 13 river cruises in 2018. Certainly, the ‘bourbon cruise,’ aboard the lavish American Duchess sounds like fun. Or, maybe next year you can sign up for the nine-day ‘Derby Cruise.’ And, next year means 2019 because the 2018 cruise is sold out. Maybe the most fun is that passengers themselves…
Recovery Continues after Ohio River Barge Breakaways
A unified command consisting of the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and industry partners continues to remove barges involved in the breakaways on the Ohio River near Pittsburgh, Pa., and Moundsville, W.Va., Tuesday. Five barges have been successfully cleared from above the dam at Emsworth including two that were blocking salvage crews' access to a barge lodged against Gate 8. Industry partners are continuing salvaging operations near Moundsville and have successfully removed one barge from the channel at mile marker 104.7.