Ports of Indiana celebrates Maritime Day with call to support U.S. infrastructure
The Ports of Indiana celebrated National Maritime Day by calling on public- and private-sector leaders to support new investments in U.S. freight transportation infrastructure. The Ports of Indiana hosted national experts for an “Influencer’s Roundtable” as part of Infrastructure Week, May 15-19, and the group identified funding for freight transportation infrastructure as one of the most critical needs for future growth of the U.S. economy.
“National Maritime Day is an important reminder of the critical role that ports, ships, barges and maritime-related businesses play in our economy,” said Rich Cooper, CEO for the Ports of Indiana. “In the U.S., ports support over 23 million jobs and handle more than 2 billion tons of international and domestic cargo per year. Indiana businesses ship over 65 million tons of cargo annually on the Ohio River and Lake Michigan, which contributes $21 billion per year to our state economy. Robust investment in multimodal infrastructure is needed from public and private sectors to keep our economy moving. We hope that Maritime Day also serves as a reminder to support future investments in freight transportation infrastructure.”
National Maritime Day was established by Congress in 1933 to call attention to America’s proud maritime heritage. While ports are one focus of Maritime Day, the Ports of Indiana also notes that America’s ports depend on many different types of infrastructure investments, including funding for highways, bridges, railroads, locks and dams, channel dredging and various multimodal needs. The roundtable discussed a recent report by the American Society of Civil Engineers that gave the U.S. a D+ ranking for overall infrastructure, stating that 90 percent of America’s locks and dams experienced an unscheduled shutdown during the year, most of the country’s highways are congested and 70,000 bridges are in need of repair.