Former Governor Calls for Investment in Waterways Infrastructure (USA)

Former Governor Calls for Investment in Waterways Infrastructure

Former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, speaking to a regional gathering of Gulf states harbor pilots, called for a “bias for action and a sense of urgency…for increased U.S. investment in waterways infrastructure and a national strategic policy to prepare and equip U.S. Ports in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Seaboard for increased cargo and container volume from ‘post-Panamax’ vessels after the Panama Canal opens in 2015.”

Governor Barbour made his remarks to some 100 harbor pilots and harbor pilot leaders representing a dozen pilot associations from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama attending a joint meeting of Gulf States/Texas State Pilot Association (TSPA), said Captain Michael Morris, TSPA president.

As chairman of the National Maritime Policy Council, former Governor Barbour urged Congress and President Obama to focus on several goals:

– Declare port modernization and channel deepening a project of National Economic Significance, vital to U.S. global competitiveness and national security as well as set a goal to coincide with the opening of the expanded Panama Canal in 2015.

– Increase Federal investment in port infrastructure and expedited utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Funds for dredging.

– Utilize 100 percent of the HMTF annual revenue for required maintenance with no change in local match rules.

– Authorize a three-year program to use accrued HMTF for channel deepening as well as requiring a 35 percent local match, spend down fund to no less than $1B by 2015.

– Expedite permitting by requiring the U.S. Corps of Engineers to evaluate and issue maintenance and deepening permits within one year of application.

– Promote a strategic port modernization effort to: 1) Increase port access and productivity; 2) Increase capacity of ports for containers and other cargos; and 3) Improve logistics and movement of goods and people.

It’s absolutely critical to our nation’s future to have our ports and waterways dredged. And we must be ready for the expected boom in business following the completion of the Panama Canal expansion project in 2015. This is good for America and Texas,” said Captain Morris.

“We can not emphasize enough just how vital it is for our waterways to be dredged to the depth and width necessary to ensure safety and commerce. America’s future rests on the shoulders of shipping and commerce. The Houston Pilots are delighted to be on the forefront with Governor Barbour on such a critical issue to our nation,” said Captain Robert Thompson, presiding officer for the Houston Pilots Association.

The Texas State Pilot Association represents about 166 harbor pilots based in Port Arthur, Houston, Galveston/Texas City, Freeport, Corpus Christi, Matagorda, and Brownsville. Harbor pilots are responsible for ensuring safety in guiding ships in and out of U.S. ports.

Dredging Today Staff, April 6, 2012; Image: usace

Share this article

Follow Dredging Today


<< Oct 2015 >>
28 29 30 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31 1

Dredging 2015 Conference – Moving and Managing Sediments

PIANC USA and the Coasts, Oceans, Ports & Rivers Institute (COPRI / ASCE) are proud to announce that the Dredging 2015 Conference will take…

read more >

Coastal Marine Construction and Engineering Forum

Case Study | Challenges Faced During Plan, Design & Construction Of Artificial Islands…

read more >

15th TOC Americas

The opening up of this key international shipping lane to bigger vessels is expected to drive significant change in international and regional…

read more >

Flooding mitigation including the use of geosynthetics construction methods, London

This British Geotechnical Association lecture, held jointly with the UK chapter of the International Geosynthetics Society (IGS), will…

read more >


Hydrographic Surveyor

Gahagan & Bryant Associates, Inc. (GBA) is posting the following career opportunity in their Houston, TX and Baltimore, MD and Tampa, FL offices....


Business Development Manager – South East Asia - Dredging & Marine Construction

As the Business Development Manager for the South East Asian Region, you will work closely with the board to implement the business development strategy...


Senior Engineer

Gahagan & Bryant Associates, Inc. (GBA) is posting the following career opportunity in their Houston, TX and Baltimore, MD and Tampa, FL offices...