National Academies Press: OpenBook
Page i
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Funding and Managing the U.S. Inland Waterways System: What Policy Makers Need to Know. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21763.
×

TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD

SPECIAL REPORT 315

Funding and Managing the
U.S. Inland Waterways System
What Policy Makers Need to Know

Page ii
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Funding and Managing the U.S. Inland Waterways System: What Policy Makers Need to Know. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21763.
×

TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD

2015 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE*


Chair: Daniel Sperling, Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science and Policy; Director, Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis

Vice Chair: James M. Crites, Executive Vice President of Operations, Dallas–Fort Worth International Airport, Texas

Executive Director: Neil J. Pedersen, Transportation Research Board


Victoria A. Arroyo, Executive Director, Georgetown Climate Center; Assistant Dean, Centers and Institutes; and Professor and Director, Environmental Law Program, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C.

Scott E. Bennett, Director, Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department, Little Rock

Deborah H. Butler, Executive Vice President, Planning, and CIO, Norfolk Southern Corporation, Norfolk, Virginia (Past Chair, 2013)

Jennifer Cohan, Secretary, Delaware Department of Transportation, Dover

Malcolm Dougherty, Director, California Department of Transportation, Sacramento

A. Stewart Fotheringham, Professor, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, University of Arizona, Tempe

John S. Halikowski, Director, Arizona Department of Transportation, Phoenix

Michael W. Hancock, Secretary, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Frankfort

Susan Hanson, Distinguished University Professor Emerita, School of Geography, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts

Steve Heminger, Executive Director, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Oakland, California

Chris T. Hendrickson, Professor, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Jeffrey D. Holt, Managing Director, Bank of Montreal Capital Markets, and Chairman, Utah Transportation Commission, Huntsville, Utah

Roger Huff, Manager, Ford Global Customs, Material Export Operations, and Logistics Standardization, Ford Motor Company, Farmington Hills, Michigan

Geraldine Knatz, Professor, Sol Price School of Public Policy, Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Ysela Llort, Director, Miami–Dade Transit, Miami, Florida

Abbas Mohaddes, President and CEO, Iteris, Inc., Santa Ana, California

Donald A. Osterberg, Senior Vice President, Safety and Security, Schneider National, Inc., Green Bay, Wisconsin

James Redeker, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Transportation, Newington

Mark Rosenberg, President and CEO, The Task Force for Global Health, Inc., Decatur, Georgia

Sandra Rosenbloom, Professor, University of Texas, Austin (Past Chair, 2012)

Henry G. (Gerry) Schwartz, Jr., Chairman (retired), Jacobs/Sverdrup Civil, Inc., St. Louis, Missouri

Kumares C. Sinha, Olson Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

Kirk T. Steudle, Director, Michigan Department of Transportation, Lansing (Past Chair, 2014)

Gary C. Thomas, President and Executive Director, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Dallas, Texas

Paul Trombino III, Director, Iowa Department of Transportation, Ames

Thomas P. Bostick (Lieutenant General, U.S. Army), Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, D.C. (ex officio)

James C. Card (Vice Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, retired), Maritime Consultant, The Woodlands, Texas, and Chair, TRB Marine Board (ex officio)

Alison Jane Conway, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, City College of New York, New York, and Chair, TRB Young Members Council (ex officio)

T. F. Scott Darling III, Acting Administrator and Chief Counsel, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation (ex officio)

Sarah Feinberg, Acting Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation (ex officio)

David J. Friedman, Acting Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation (ex officio)

LeRoy Gishi, Chief, Division of Transportation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. (ex officio)

John T. Gray II, Senior Vice President, Policy and Economics, Association of American Railroads, Washington, D.C. (ex officio)

Michael P. Huerta, Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation (ex officio)

Paul N. Jaenichen, Sr., Administrator, Maritime Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation (ex officio)

Therese W. McMillan, Acting Administrator, Federal Transit Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation (ex officio)

Michael P. Melaniphy, President and CEO, American Public Transportation Association, Washington, D.C. (ex officio)

Gregory G. Nadeau, Acting Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation (ex officio)

Peter M. Rogoff, Under Secretary for Transportation Policy, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation (ex officio)

Mark R. Rosekind, Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation (ex officio)

Craig A. Rutland, U.S. Air Force Pavement Engineer, Air Force Civil Engineer Center, Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida (ex officio)

Vanessa Sutherland, Acting Deputy Administrator, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation (ex officio)

Barry R. Wallerstein, Executive Officer, South Coast Air Quality Management District, Diamond Bar, California (ex officio)

Gregory D. Winfree, Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation (ex officio)

Frederick G. (Bud) Wright, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Washington, D.C. (ex officio)

Paul F. Zukunft (Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard), Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (ex officio)

 

* Membership as of August 2015.

Page iii
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Funding and Managing the U.S. Inland Waterways System: What Policy Makers Need to Know. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21763.
×

Funding and Managing the
U.S. Inland Waterways System
What Policy Makers Need to Know

image

Committee on Reinvesting in Inland Waterways:
What Policy Makers Need to Know

Transportation Research Board

TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD
WASHINGTON, D.C.
2015
WWW.TRB.ORG

Page iv
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Funding and Managing the U.S. Inland Waterways System: What Policy Makers Need to Know. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21763.
×

Transportation Research Board Special Report 315

Subscriber Categories

Economics, freight, marine policy, terminals and facilities

Transportation Research Board publications are available by ordering individual publications directly from the TRB Business Office, through the Internet at www.TRB.org or national-academies.org/trb, or by annual subscription through organizational or individual affiliation with TRB. Affiliates and library subscribers are eligible for substantial discounts. For further information, contact the Transportation Research Board Business Office, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 (telephone 202-334-3213; fax 202-334-2519; or e-mail TRBsales@nas.edu).

Copyright 2015 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America.

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance.

This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to the procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Medicine.

This study was sponsored by the Transportation Research Board.

Cover and page design by Beth Schlenoff, Beth Schlenoff Design

Cover photos (clockwise from top): Emsworth Locks and Dams, Ohio River, USACE Pittsburgh District (Chris T. Hendrickson); Starved Rock Lock and Dam, Illinois Waterway, Utica (USACE); Mississippi River Lock 15, between Rock Island, Illinois, and Davenport, Iowa (Joe Ross); and barges on the Mississippi River near St. Louis, Missouri, December 2012 (USACE).

Typesetting by Circle Graphics, Inc.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on Reinvesting in Inland Waterways:

What Policy Makers Need to Know, author.

  Funding and managing the U.S. inland waterways system : what policy makers need to know / Committee on Reinvesting in Inland Waterways: What Policy Makers Need to Know, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

    pages cm — (Transportation Research Board special report ; 315)

  ISBN 978-0-309-29568-0

  1. Inland water transportation—United States—Finance. 2. Inland water transportation—United States—Management. 3. Inland water transportation—Government policy—United States. 4. Federal aid to transportation—United States. I. National Research Council (U.S.). Transportation Research Board. issuing body. II. Title. III. Series: Special report (National Research Council (U.S.). Transportation Research Board) ; 315.

  HE627.N38 2015

  354.780973—dc23

2015024124

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Funding and Managing the U.S. Inland Waterways System: What Policy Makers Need to Know. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21763.
×

image

The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president.

The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president.

The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine.

Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.national-academies.org.

The Transportation Research Board is one of seven major programs of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to increase the benefits that transportation contributes to society by providing leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal. The Board’s varied activities annually engage about 7,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation.

Learn more about the Transportation Research Board at www.TRB.org.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Funding and Managing the U.S. Inland Waterways System: What Policy Makers Need to Know. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21763.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Funding and Managing the U.S. Inland Waterways System: What Policy Makers Need to Know. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21763.
×

Committee on Reinvesting in Inland Waterways:
What Policy Makers Need to Know

Chris T. Hendrickson, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Chair

Leigh B. Boske, University of Texas at Austin

Michael S. Bronzini, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

James J. Corbett, Jr., University of Delaware, Newark

G. Edward Dickey, Independent Consultant, Baltimore, Maryland

C. James Kruse, Texas A&M Transportation Institute, Houston

B. Starr McMullen, Oregon State University, Corvallis

Leonard A. Shabman, Resources for the Future, Washington, D.C.

Thomas H. Wakeman III, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL STAFF

Stephen R. Godwin, Director, Studies and Special Programs, Transportation Research Board

Melissa Welch-Ross, Study Director

Amelia Mathis, Administrative Assistant

Claudia Sauls, Program Coordinator

Page viii
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Funding and Managing the U.S. Inland Waterways System: What Policy Makers Need to Know. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21763.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Funding and Managing the U.S. Inland Waterways System: What Policy Makers Need to Know. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21763.
×

Preface

This report was authored by the National Research Council (NRC) Committee on Reinvesting in Inland Waterways: What Policy Makers Need to Know. It is the culmination of an 18-month consensus study by a committee of nine diverse experts appointed by NRC to carry out the statement of task. The committee thanks the following individuals, who attended public meetings of the committee as guest presenters and helped the committee to gather the information needed to address its charge: Mark Hammond, James Hannon, Keith Hofseth, W. Jeffrey Lillycrop, Jeffrey McKee, David Moser, Mark Pointon, Burton Suedel, and Wesley Walker, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE); Rolf Schmitt and Jack Wells, U.S. Department of Transportation; Gretchen Benjamin, Nature Conservancy; Ted Coombes, Southwestern Power Resources Association; Mortimer Downey, Mort Downey Consulting, LLC; Stephen Ellis, Taxpayers for Common Sense; Robert Gallamore, Gallamore Group, LLC; John T. Gray II, Association of American Railroads; Marty Hettel, AEP River Operations; Steven M. Kramer, Association of Oil Pipe Lines; Amy W. Larson, National Waterways Conference, Inc.; Ryck Lydecker, BoatU.S.; Kristin Meira, Pacific Northwest Waterways Association; Daniel Murray, American Transportation Research Institute; Craig Phillip, Ingram Barge Company; Melissa Samet, National Wildlife Federation; Michael Steenhoek, Soy Transportation Coalition; and Michael J. Toohey, Waterways Council, Inc. The committee also thanks Christopher Dager, University of Tennessee, and Mark Sudol, USACE, for responding to requests for data and other information on inland waterways infrastructure, expenses, and funding.

The third meeting of the committee included a site visit to the Emsworth Locks and Dams facility in the USACE Pittsburgh District. The committee thanks Mark Ivanisin and Donald Zeiler for helping to arrange this visit; Richard Lockwood and John Peukert at the USACE Pittsburgh District for information concerning operations and

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Funding and Managing the U.S. Inland Waterways System: What Policy Makers Need to Know. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21763.
×

procedures used in identifying spending priorities at the district level; and Craig Philip, Bill Porter, and Richard Kern of the Ingram Barge Company for facilitating travel to Emsworth on a company tow and providing the committee with information from the perspective of tow operators on the system.

The committee thanks Edward Carr of the University of Delaware for his assistance in analyzing public data and statistics related to inland rivers waterborne commerce, infrastructure usage, and economics and in analyzing other transportation statistics. The committee also thanks Claudia Sauls, who ably assisted with manuscript preparation, and Amelia Mathis, who assisted with meeting arrangements and logistics for committee members. The committee is grateful for the oversight and guidance of Stephen Godwin, Director of Studies and Special Programs of the Transportation Research Board. Jeffrey Jacobs, Director of the Water Science and Technology Board, provided background helpful to the study and to the committee formation process. The committee acknowledges Norman Solomon, who edited the report; Juanita Green, who managed the production; Jennifer J. Weeks, who prepared the manuscript for prepublication web posting; and Javy Awan, Director of Publications, under whose supervision the report was prepared for publication.

A draft version of the committee’s report was reviewed by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise in accordance with the procedures of NRC’s Report Review Committee (RRC). The report review was managed by Karen Febey, Senior Report Review Officer for the Transportation Research Board, and Maureen Mellody, Senior Report Review Officer for the RRC. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist NRC in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets NRC institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. The committee thanks the following individuals for their reviews of this report: Michael Babcock, Kansas State University; Lillian C. Borrone, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (retired); Mark Burton,

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Funding and Managing the U.S. Inland Waterways System: What Policy Makers Need to Know. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21763.
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University of Tennessee; Ken Casavant, Washington State University; Gerald Galloway, University of Maryland; Michael Hanemann, University of California at Berkeley; Gerard McCullough, University of Minnesota; Craig Philip, Vanderbilt Center for Transportation Research and Ingram Barge Company (retired); Kyle Schilling, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Institute of Water Resources (retired); and Jack Wells, U.S. Department of Transportation (retired).

Although the reviewers provided constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the report’s conclusions, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Charles Manski, Northwestern University, and Henry G. Schwartz, Jr., Jacobs/Sverdrup Civil, Inc. (retired). Appointed by NRC, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was conducted in accordance with NRC institutional procedures and that all review comments received full consideration. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and NRC.

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Glossary

Ancillary (incidental) benefits. Benefits of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) project not considered or relied on to justify the investment when the project was authorized by Congress.

Contributed funds. Funds beyond any nonfederal cost contribution required by statute that may be provided voluntarily by a state or political subdivision for any project purposes, including navigation. (For example, states and private entities such as waterways users can voluntarily contribute funds for any water resource project or study beyond the required cost share, according to the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014.)

Cost allocation. A process for assigning specific costs and then a share of joint costs to each beneficiary.

Cost-effective. Receipt of the greatest possible benefit for the amount paid.

Cost recovery. A requirement that all costs for construction, operation, maintenance, and repair incurred over a period of time be matched by general tax revenues and receipts from user fees in dedicated taxes. Since benefits are realized over time, payments toward cost recovery may be received over several years. Up-front costs will typically require sale of bonds; repayment of bond debt would be spread over some period of project life.

Cost sharing. A legally mandated sharing of the costs between the federal government and a nonfederal entity.

Cross-subsidy. The charging of higher prices to one group of consumers relative to the benefit received to charge (or that results in) lower prices to another consumer group relative to that group’s benefit.

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Dedicated tax. A required payment to a government entity to pay for a specific benefit.

Economic efficiency. Attainment of the most highly valued use of resources (or of maximal benefit relative to cost).

Financing. The advancement of funds from a public, quasi-public, or private entity to an entity initially responsible for the costs; the responsible entity then uses a combination of general revenues, user fees, and dedicated taxes to repay the incurred debt.

Freight corridor. A pathway of freight transportation used heavily by one or more modes.

General revenues. Funds received by governments from taxes or other sources of revenue that may be used for any purpose.

Inland waterways commercial navigation. Vessel movements for freight transport.

Inland waterways navigation. Vessel movements for freight transport.

Inland waterways navigation budget. Funds appropriated by Congress to USACE to provide for commercial navigation service on the inland waterways.

Project (USACE project). A USACE Civil Works infrastructure installation or activity whose scope is defined in the authorizing legislation that approves the project and that may include one or more installations or activities in one or more waterway locations. The project has passed through a feasibility study and has been approved by the Secretary of the Army before being authorized as a federal project by Congress. A USACE project has a defined purpose (or possibly more than one purpose) specified in authorizing legislation and is eligible for funding during the normal federal appropriations process.

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Revolving trust fund. An account established and managed by government that is used for accumulating the revenues from user charges dedicated by law for a specific purpose and for tracking receipts and spending.

River segment. A portion of a river that may be bounded by geographic features, population centers, or trade flows.

Subsidy. A payment made or benefit provided by the federal government where the benefit exceeds the cost for the beneficiary; subsidies are designed to support the conduct of an economic enterprise or activity.

Tax. A required payment imposed to pay for a government service. (Unlike a user fee, taxes arise from the government’s sovereign power to raise revenue and need not be related to receipt of a specific benefit. Unlike a fee, the tax is enforced by threats of sanction for nonpayment rather than by denial of use, as is the case for a user fee.)

Tow. A barge or group of barges (as many as 60 on the Lower Mississippi River) lashed together and propelled by a push boat (commonly called a tow boat).

User-based funding. An approach in which each beneficiary pays an amount for a good or a service equal to the benefit received.

User charge. A payment in the form of fees or taxes based on benefits received from the federal government or that in some way compensates for costs imposed on society or its resources.

User fee. A charge assessed to users of goods or services provided by the federal government normally related to the cost of the goods or services provided. The degree to which fees can be considered voluntary depends on the availability of reasonable substitutes; user fees may also be collected through a tax such as an excise tax.

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Funding and Managing the U.S. Inland Waterways System: What Policy Makers Need to Know Get This Book
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TRB Special Report 315: Funding and Managing the U.S. Inland Waterways System: What Policy Makers Need to Know explores the role and importance of the federally funded inland waterways system, priorities for future investment, its beneficiaries, and sources of funding.

In recent years, the inland waterways system has transported six to seven percent of all domestic ton-miles of cargo. The system is a small but important component of the national freight system, particularly for bulk commodities. The study committee finds that, in order to ensure efficient use of limited navigation resources, the most critical need for the inland waterways system is a sustainable and well-executed plan for maintaining system reliability and performance. Reliability and performance will depend on placing higher priority on investments in operations and maintenance (O&M). Without a funding strategy that prioritizes system preservation, maintenance may continue to be deferred, which would result in further deterioration and in a less cost effective and less reliable system.

The committee finds that more reliance on a “user-pays” funding strategy for the commercial navigation system is feasible, would generate new revenues for maintenance, and would promote economic efficiency.

The committee suggests that an asset management program focused on economic efficiency, fully implemented and linked to the budgeting process, would help prioritize maintenance spending and ascertain the funding levels required for reliable freight service.

View the TRB Special Report 315 webcast.

View the press release.

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