Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Intermodal Discusses Ports and Rail

In a called meeting, the Southeast Arkansas Intermodal Authority Board talked about the possibility of entering "Memorandum of Understandings" with river ports in Arkansas that could be utilized by the Intermodal Park.  On hand to urge the Authority to consider entering the agreements was Gene Higginbotham, Executive Director of the Arkansas Waterways Commission.  Mr. Higginbotham told those in attendance that the Authority should enter agreements with Yellow Bend Port, the Crossett Port and the Port of Pine Bluff.  He indicated that working agreements with any or all three ports could benefit economic growth in South Arkansas.

According to Mr. Higginbotham moving goods by water is one third less expensive than by rail and 2/3 less expensive than by truck.  He stated that all three methods of transportation are needed.  There followed a lengthy discussion of the need for new and improved infrastructure in Arkansas and the United States.  That was followed by a discussion about how to pay for the needs.

Also attending the meeting were representatives of Senator Boozman's and Congressman Westerman's offices.  It was stated by several in the meeting that federal help will be required to make the infrastructure investment needed along with state and local government.

The Intermodal Board took no action concerning the proposed "Memorandum of Understandings".  They will be considered at the next regular board meeting.  It was noted that the Intermodal Authority has an agreement with Yellow Bend Port.  It needs to be reviewed to determine its current status.

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