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Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:21 AM

Myths of river transportation benefit

In Commentary
By Brad Walker, and Bob Criss, special to the Beacon

Many articles have discussed the current drought and its devastating effects on the inland waterways navigation system, viewed as essential to the U.S. economy. Ignored in this discussion are the cost of this system to the taxpayer, its large environmental downsides, and the inherent vulnerability of this system to drought, flooding and infrastructure breakdown, all witnessed during the last two years.

The Army Corps of Engineers has been often criticized for poorly evaluating these factors in its project planning and particularly for inflating the benefit-to-cost ratios of their projects, underestimating environmental damages and overlooking non-structural alternatives. We believe an external evaluation of the value of the entire system is needed, and suggest that the GAO is best positioned to conduct a comprehensive study.

In lieu of that, this article intends to present the other side of the benefits (in italics) of river transport alleged by such interests as the barge industry and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

https://www.stlbeacon.org/#!/content/29220/voices_criss_barges_2_020413?coverpage=2656

Interesting piece by these two writers giving different point of view on the inland waterway navigation system. I believe it is worth a complete read.

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