Panel 3

Wednesday, November 16, 2022
Keeping the Inland Waterways Open:
Balancing Maintenance and Operational Requirements

Moderator: James P. Allen, PE, COL(R), US Army Engineer Research and Development Center

Inland waterways – “nature’s superhighways” - provide a strategic advantage related to security, economics, and trade for any nation whose geography, topography, and climate enable this natural infrastructure. Economic benefits are realized in small and urban communities.  However, deliberate operational, resource, and policy efforts, along with broad stakeholder integration, are required to maintain and operate such a system.  The United States boasts over 12,000 miles of inland and intracoastal waterways with 218 lock chambers at 176 sites.

Mr. Tom Heinold, Chief of Operations Division, Rock Island, IL
 

Past as Prologue

Navigation is the USACE earliest Civil Works mission, dating back to Federal laws in 1824 authorizing and funding USACE to improve safety on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and several ports. The Inland Navigation Design Center (INDC) provides engineering, design, analysis and review services for studies, new locks, new navigation dams, major rehabilitation of existing inland navigation locks and dams, and significant inland navigation lock and dam operations and maintenance projects.

Mr. Guy H. Allen, Senior Economist, International Grains Program, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
Economic and International Trade Implications of the Inland Waterway System

Commerce and economic drivers make the inland waterway system the lifeblood of trade for many nations. For more than 35 years, the International Grains Program (IGP) Institute has established a worldwide reputation as a center of excellence for international programs related to flour milling and grain processing, feed manufacturing and grain management, grain marketing and risk management focused on corn, grain sorghum, soybeans and wheat. IGP’s mission is to provide technical, research-based training benefiting industry professionals globally and enhancing the market preference for U.S. grains and oilseeds.

Dr Craig E. Philip, Vanderbilt University, Director, Vanderbilt Center for Transportation and Operational Resiliency (VECTOR), former President/CEO Ingram Barge Company, Nashville, TN
 

Inland Waterway System Transportation Resilience and Future Opportunities

Transportation and operational resiliency are key considerations regarding the inland waterway system. Understanding the interconnectivity and interdependencies in a system-of-systems approach allows holistic risk management for infrastructure owners and maritime transport carriers. Resilience strategies to prevent and protect, withstand, respond, recover, and ultimately adapt to system stress and shocks is the objective of inland waterway stakeholders in industry, government, and academia.