Following an inquiry that included six public hearings, three roundtable discussions, and tours of four key freight corridors, including the Port of New York and New Jersey, the Congressional Panel on 21st Century Freight Transportation released its report, "Improving the Nation's Freight Transportation System: Findings and Recommendations of the Special Panel on 21st Century Freight Transportation."
According to the report's executive summary, the Freight Panel sought to: ". . . gain insight into the current state of freight transportation and how improving freight transportation can strengthen the economy. The Panel identified many challenges and impediments to the efficient and safe movement of goods into, out of, and through the United States."
Specifically, the Freight Panel sought to identify:
The Freight Panel was led by Chairman, Rep John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-TN) and Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). On July 26, 2013, it was given a tour that included Greenville Yard and the float bridge that connects Sunset Park, Brooklyn with the rail freight system of Long Island. The members of congress then proceeded to a hearing held at the U.S. Customs House next to the World Trade Center.
At that hearing, Patrick J. Foye, Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said, "Efficient freight service in the New York City region is critical to job creation and retention in our region, and to our country's sustainable and prosperous future . . . Our port assets and associated freight rail movements are critical to the health of our region and that of the nation. Today, freight passing through our port can reach 20 percent of the U.S. population, or more than 62 million people, in fewer than eight hours and more than 30 percent, or over 94 million people in fewer than 48 hours."
Released on Monday, October 28, the panel's report summarizes its findings on these issues and recommends that Congress:
Click here to download a copy of the panel's report.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has awarded awarded a 40-year design-build-finance-maintain contract to NYNJ Link Partnership as part of a $1.5 billion public-private partnership (PPP) to replace the current Goethals Bridge with a new state-of-the-art cable-stayed span. This will be the first bridge the Port Authority's built since 1931 when the George Washington Bridge opened to vehicular traffic. The project also marks the first true surface transportation public-private partnership in the Northeast.
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