Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Va. DOT chief says there are “incredible” opportunities in post-recession economy

image
By John D. Schulz, Contributing Editor
June 10, 2010

ARLINGTON, Va.—Scarce federal resources are forcing states to leverage the limited funds available for freight projects and need to be more creative in the manner in which those funds are distributed, Virginia’s transportation secretary says.
 
But he says there are bargain rates out there for states which are nimble enough to get infrastructure projects off the drawing board while road builders are still hungry for business.
 
“This is the time for us to invest in infrastructure—but the costs are amazing. Bids are coming in about two-thirds what we thought (things would cost),” said Sean Connaughton, Virginia’s transportation secretary

“Competition for infrastructure projects is incredible. We’re trying to speed up ways to put money out there on the street.”
 
Virginia is looking for a “long-term, sustainable” source of funding for transportation projects. But until then, creativity wins the day, he said.
 
“We’re trying to leverage the limited state and federal resources we have,” said Connaughton, Virginia’s transportation secretary since the first of the year when new Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell entered office.
 
Connaughton said he recently met with truckers along the north-south Interstate 81 corridor, a major freight lane, and said they have a unique nickname for the often-congested Capital Beltway around the nation’s capital.
 
“Truckers say they refer to this area (Washington, D.C.) as the big black hole, the congestion in this area,” Connaughton said.

Freight is being diverted from truck to rail because of that congestion. Freight railroads soon will be able to run double-stack trains from the port of Norfolk, Va., to the freight Mecca of the Chicago area.

“These are challenging times,” Connaughton said. “But there are great opportunities out there.”

About the Author

image
John D. Schulz
Contributing Editor

John D. Schulz has been a transportation journalist for more than 20 years, specializing in the trucking industry. He is known to own the fattest Rolodex in the business, and is on a first-name basis with scores of top-level trucking executives who are able to give shippers their latest insights on the industry on a regular basis. This wise Washington owl has performed and produced at some of the highest levels of journalism in his 40-year career, mostly as a Washington newsman.


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Mexico's growing importance in the continental supply chain is now being recognized by North American transportation groups

Satish Jindel, president of Pittsburgh-based SJ Consulting, says that one way for LTL carriers to improve both their bottom lines and overall productivity is to get a better grasp on the cost of handling a shipment and the pricing they have for it.

Falling 5.5 cents to $2.668 per gallon, this follows last week’s 5.9 cent decline for the lowest weekly average price going back to the week of October 14, 2009, when it was at $2.60 per gallon.

With the latest round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations in Maui, Hawaii ending without a deal, U.S. supply managers may be adjusting to other global sourcing strategies.

The PMI, the ISM’s index to measure growth fell 0.8 percent to 52.7 (a PMI of 50 or greater represents growth). PMI growth has been at 50 or higher for 31 straight months (with the overall economy growing for 74 months), and the current PMI is 1.7 percent below the 12-month average of 54.4.

Article Topics

News · All topics

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA