The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Maritime Administration (MarAd):
(WASHINGTON) — U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has designated three new Marine Highway Projects.
The Mississippi River, previously designated as the M-55, will serve as the primary route for the Baton Rouge-New Orleans Shuttle project. Sponsored by the Port of New Orleans in partnership with the Port of Greater Baton Rouge and Seacor AMH, LLC, the proposed container-on-barge service will operate between the Ports of Greater Baton Rouge and New Orleans, reducing congestion and bridge traffic on Louisiana’s Interstate 10.
Also operating along the M-55 from Chicago, Ill., to New Orleans, La., the proposed Illinois Intrastate Shuttle project is structured to shift about 5,500 containers in its first year of operation from congested north-south Interstate 55 to the Mississippi River. Sponsored by America’s Central Port located in Granite City, Ill., the container-on-barge service will provide soybean and grain shippers a new routing option.
The third service, the Lake Erie Shuttle, is a proposed route that will carry cargo for shippers between the ports of Monroe, Mich., Cleveland, Ohio, and Detroit, Mich. The service is sponsored by the Port of Monroe.
A Marine Highway Project is a planned service, or expansion of an existing service, on a designated Marine Highway Route, that provides new modal choices to shippers of cargo, reduces transportation costs, and provides public benefits including reduced air emissions, reduced road maintenance costs, and improved safety and resiliency.