Page 27: of Marine News Magazine (July 2014)

ATB Technical Trends

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under this provision is authorized only to the extent speciÞ -cally provided for in subsequent appropriations acts. In conducting the studies required by section 2004 of WRRDA, the Secretary will have immediately available a signiÞ cant amount of work that has already been done. Among the important studies that have recently been conducted are two that have been sponsored by the soy- bean industry. The Þ rst of these is a study prepared for the United Soybean Board by the Center for Ports and Wa- terways of the Texas Transportation Institute, titled ?New Approaches for U.S. Lock and Dam Maintenance and Fund- ing,? published in January 2013 (the TTI Study). In the discussion of section 2004 in the Conference Report for WRRDA (H. Rep. 113-449, page 194), the Secretary is speciÞ cally directed to review, and to the extent practicable use, the assessments completed in the TTI Study. TTI S TUDY The TTI Study had two principal objectives: Þ rst, to analyze the possibility of transitioning from the current Òbuild and expandÓ approach to a Òrepair and sustainÓ ap- proach to our lock and dam inventory, and second, to ana- lyze the possibility of transitioning from the governmentÕs current lock and dam funding approach to a bonding style approach. With respect to the Þ rst objective, the TTI Study describes the long-term, overall cost advantages of adopting a Òrepair and sustainÓ approach, but also points out how current funding practices make the adoption of such an approach difÞ cult, if not impossible. The second objective of the TTI Study is more directly related to the study that section 2004 of WRRDA calls for. In this regard, the TTI Study Þ rst describes the ben- eÞ ts that the use of bonds would provide for funding in- frastructure projects. First and foremost, of course, the use of bond proceeds would provide up-front all of the capital initially expected to be required for a project, avoid- ing the piecemeal, on again-off again, funding process that has caused the inefÞ ciencies, delays and cost overruns that have become endemic to infrastructure projects. The use WRRDA changed IWTF?s share of the costs for Olmsted, going forward, from 50% to 15%. It has been estimated that this could free up as much as $105 million annually for other sorely needed projects on the inland waterways, depending on the fuel tax revenues that the IWTF receives each year. MN July14 Layout 18-31.indd 27MN July14 Layout 18-31.indd 276/18/2014 3:36:30 PM6/18/2014 3:36:30 PM

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