Binational Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway study released
The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway could double its cargo volume and offer an environmentally friendly way of shipping goods if it were better used in combination with rail and trucking operations, according to a binational study released Monday by the U.S. and Canadian governments.
The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Study (GLSLS) was conducted by seven Canadian and U.S. departments and agencies — Transport Canada, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp., the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp., Environment Canada and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — to evaluate the future infrastructure needs of the system.
Highlights from the 128-page study are:
' The system has the potential to alleviate road and rail transportation network congestion as well as at border crossings in the Great Lakes Basin and St. Lawrence River region.
' A stronger focus on short sea shipping would allow the system to be more closely integrated with the road and rail transportation systems, while providing shippers with a cost-effective, timely and reliable means to transport goods.
' The system's infrastructure must be maintained in good operating condition in order to ensure the continued safety, efficiency, reliability and competitiveness of the system.
' The long-term health and success of the system will depend in part on its sustainability, including the further reduction of negative ecological impacts caused by commercial navigation.
“We are committed to ensuring that this vital trade corridor remains a safe, reliable, and efficient component of our continent’s transportation system,” said Mary E. Peters, U.S. Transportation secretary. “This study will guide both nations as we work to maintain this asset, support trade and protect local ecosystems.”
Lawrence Cannon, Canada’s Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, said: “The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway system is a vital resource. As one of the world’s greatest and most strategic waterways, it has always been an essential part of North America’s transportation infrastructure. The system is at the heart of one of the largest and most dynamic trade hubs in the world. We want to make sure that in years to come it continues to serve efficiently as one of North America’s trade corridors.”
The study is available to download at: www.glsls-study.com/Supporting%20documents/GLSLS%20Report%20Fall%202007.pdf.