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76 CHAPTER 7 Catalog of Improvements 7.1 Introduction however, implementation at a particular location would require consideration of specific site characteristics and operational The primary focus of this research project has been to practices. Similarly, given the uniqueness of each deepwater develop a method (or tool) that public- and private-sector port, an effective action at one port may not necessarily be decision makers can use to identify, categorize, and evaluate effective at another port. quickly implementable, low-cost capital, operational, and pub- lic policy actions that can enhance freight mobility by address- ing persistent system constraints. The tool is applied to develop 7.2 Approach to Developing a catalog of low-cost actions or classes of actions that can be Catalog of Strategies quickly implemented to address the nation's freight-system In discussing options to address the capacity issues on the mobility constraints, especially along corridors or at locations freight transportation system, greater understanding is needed that impact freight mobility at a national level. of what drives private- and public-sector decision makers to The approach in developing the catalog of strategies recog- want change, to be willing to pay for it, and to work together to nizes the inherent conflict or disconnect between the criteria of maximize the return on investment in terms of meeting their quickly implementable low-cost improvements and large cap- goals, both quantitative and qualitative. Given the disparities ital investments required to expand the capacity of the freight of how each sector defines and measures success, it is impor- transportation system, especially for projects of national signif- tant to consider shared, cooperative project implementation to icance. In other words, addressing freight mobility constraints reconcile any conflicts between these values (i.e., public versus at locations that may impact freight mobility at national levels private, national versus local, and high-cost versus low-cost would require large capital investments that encompass improvements), focusing on projects that use relatively low- low-cost physical improvements. Low-cost improvements are cost operational strategies or technology innovations to address effective in eliminating and/or reducing the congestion at these capacity and mobility constraints. locations. With this recognition, the theme in developing Recognizing that the characteristics of each mode in terms the catalog of actions is to identify proven low-cost improve- of the level of public- and private-sector involvement and part- ments that have the potential to enhance freight mobility to nership in decisions regarding funding improvement projects noticeable extents even though such actions may not by them- determine the approaches to addressing freight mobility, dif- selves necessarily remove the constraint entirely. ferent approaches are used in developing the catalog of strate- Depending on the mode of freight transportation, the low- gies. The catalog of improvements are developed from case cost improvements could be more operations, regulatory, pol- studies that represent projects that have been implemented in icy, or technology oriented and less physical. While low-cost different parts of the country and to address a variety of freight improvements for the highway mode may include all types of mobility constraints. The improvements target locations or actions (i.e., physical, operational, and regulatory), those for corridors where major constraints within each modal freight rail and ports may not include physical actions. For physical transportation network occur. Addressing these constraints is low-cost improvements, site and traffic characteristics and expected to improve freight mobility significantly at a national other factors contributing to a constraint at a given location level. The following subsections discuss the locations of major may not necessarily be identical to other locations. Therefore, freight mobility constraints and present a catalog of low-cost improvement strategies presented in the catalog are generic; improvements to address specific constraints for each mode.