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

Congested U.S. port terminals, harbor and over-the-road truck and driver shortages, slower trains and longer rail terminal dwell times due to increased domestic rates have not only disrupted service but also driven intermodal rates and cargo handling costs up sharply.

Southern California shippers are getting a break on container dwell expenses for the next ten days as the Port of Long Beach announced that it had added an extra three days to the time that overseas import containers can remain on the docks without charge.

The long-simmering court battle over whether FedEx Ground’s workers are independent contractors or employees appears headed to the appellate courts—and maybe the U.S. Supreme Court.

Carload volume headed up 4.3 percent to 298,376, and intermodal units, at 273,376 containers and trailers were up 4.8 percent annually.

In light on various service-related freight railroad service issues, the Department of Transportation’s Surface Transportation Board (STB) recently announced it is now requiring Class I railroads to publicly file weekly data reports on service performance. These weekly reports are slated to begin on October 22.

Article Topics

News · All topics

Comments

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


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA