WASHINGTON — More than 140 supporters from the public and private sectors in six states have joined together in endorsing the National Gateway, an unprecedented public-private partnership dedicated to revolutionizing the nation’s transportation system, preparing it for the widely predicted growth in global demand.
Recently honored as “Competitiveness Project of the Year” by the North American Strategic Infrastructure Leadership Forum, the National Gateway has emerged as a leading public-private partnership. The project will use intermodal transportation and double-stack trains to improve America’s global market competitiveness, create jobs, reduce transportation-related emissions and alleviate congestion on roads and highways.
Public-private partnerships strategically align private funds with projects that deliver public benefits to support our nation’s economic recovery and prepare us for continued population and economic growth. They also combine the intellectual resources of the public and private sectors to deliver more efficient services. According to Cambridge Systematic figures from 2009, every dollar of public money invested in the National Gateway will yield $16 in public benefits by significantly increasing freight capacity and reducing transit times between coastal ports and major population centers by 24 to 48 hours.
“Public-private partnerships like the National Gateway will yield vast benefits to the Ohio economy, the environment and the taxpayer,” said John A. Lumpe, executive director of the Ohio Soybean Council. “This project will create a tremendous opportunity for agriculture in the State of Ohio by creating cost-effective transportation options enabling our soybeans and other agricultural products to reach new markets around the globe while increasing local and regional jobs.”
The benefits of the National Gateway extend well beyond Ohio. An $842 million, multi-state initiative, the National Gateway will create a more efficient freight rail route between Mid-Atlantic ports and Midwestern markets. Planned improvements include raising bridges, increasing tunnel clearances and building new strategically-placed intermodal terminals along existing rail corridors to support the movement of double-stacked containers on rail cars.
In addition to governors and other state and local officials across six states, more than three dozen members of Congress, three port authorities, and a large number of global shippers, ocean carriers, business organizations and environmental groups have pledged their support for the National Gateway.