The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) and the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) are joining forces to build greater awareness of the need to significantly boost federal investment in the nation’s ports and waterways infrastructure. The two groups signed a memorandum of cooperation October 24 during AAPA’s annual meeting in Mobile, Ala.
The agreement calls for each group to participate in the other’s committee meetings and policy discussions, share technical best practices, exchange information through newsletters and reports, and jointly lobby Congress on pending legislation that impacts ports and waterways.
“Investing in freight-handling infrastructure is an essential, effective utilization of limited federal resources,” said Kurt Nagle, president and CEO of AAPA. “We look forward to this enhanced relationship with ARTBA, and to combining the strength of all our freight partners, to ensure port-related infrastructure is a priority whenever federal transportation policy and funding decisions are being considered.”
ARTBA has been involved in port advocacy for several years. In early 2011, the association launched its Ports & Waterways Council (PWC), composed of members of the engineering, heavy construction, material and supply, and dredging industries whose core mission is to develop and advocate consensus transportation design and construction policy positions, recommendations and programs aimed at growing a well –funded and efficient infrastructure market for the U.S. Marine Transportation System (MTS). In February 2012, the PWC submitted written testimony to the House Ways and Means Subcommittees on Select Revenue Measures and Oversight calling for increased growth and investment in the nation’s MTS.
“With growing emphasis on the need to expand the nation’s freight system and calls to double the nation’s exports, the time is right for ARTBA and AAPA to ensure that one of the most vital links in America’s transportation network maintains a strong voice at the policy making table,” said Pierce Homer, transportation director with Moffatt & Nichol, who also serves as co-chair of ARTBA’s PWC.
Established 110 years ago, the Washington, D.C.-based ARTBA is the “consensus voice” of the U.S. transportation design and construction industry before Congress, federal agencies, White House, news media and general public. On behalf of its 5,000+ public and private sector members, ARTBA advocates for strong investment in the nation’s highway, bridge, rail, airport, port and waterway infrastructure systems.
Founded in 1912, AAPA today represents 150 of the leading seaport authorities in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean and more than 250 sustaining and associate members, firms and individuals with an interest in seaports. As a critical link for access to the global marketplace, each year, Western Hemisphere seaports generate trillions of dollars of economic activity, support the employment of millions of people and, annually, import and export more than 7.8 billion tons of cargo, valued at $8.6 trillion, including food, clothing, medicine, fuel and building materials, as well as consumer electronics and toys. The volume of cargo shipped by water is expected to dramatically increase by 2020 and the number of passengers traveling through our seaports will continue to grow. To meet these demands, the AAPA and its members are committed to keeping seaports navigable, secure and sustainable.