DOT Releases Port Needs Study

The Department of Transportation (DOT) recently sent to Congress a study assessing the costs and benefits of installing maritime traffic management systems in 23 selected maritime zones throughout the U.S. The management systems are designed to prevent vessel collisions and improve waterborne transportation efficiency.

The Port Needs Study will assist the Coast Guard in developing a strategy for vessel Traffic Service (VTS) in the United States. The 23 selected areas encompass 82 deepdraft ports, which load or unload more than 80 percent of the total U.S. cargo vessel tonnage.

Analysis of the study revealed substantial benefit from the operation of a VTS in seven study zones.

The zones, listed alphabetically are: Boston; Corpus Christi, Texas; Houston/ Galveston; Los Angeles/Long Beach; Mobile, Ala.; New Orleans; and Port Arthur, Texas. The Coast Guard currently operates a VTS in Houston/Galveston. Funding for new VTS's in New Orleans, Port Arthur and Los Angeles/Long Beach has been requested by FY 1993.

The Coast Guard plans to conduct more detailed waterway assessments of specific needs in the ports of Boston, Corpus Christi and Mobile.

The study was required by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and was conducted by the Volpe National Transportation Systems center (VNTSC) in Cambridge, Mass. VNTSC is an operating unit of the Department of Transportation.

The Port Needs Study will be available for sale from the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Va. 22161.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 60,  Apr 1992 Louisiana

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