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By 2045, our nation will need to accommodate the 70 million more people that will be added to our population. Knowing this, we must prepare for a nation with growing needs for food, goods, commerce, defense, and energy.  These needs mean our national freight system will have to move 14 billion more tons of freight each year, and 4 billion tons of that freight will sourced internationally and move through America’s ports.

You can imagine, then, the importance of facilities like the Port of Virginia in Norfolk, the only port on the U.S. East Coast currently capable of handling the latest 13,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) vessels.  These super-sized ships are the vessels of the near future --a future that will feature a widened Panama Canal-- and these vessels are capable of carrying many times more freight than ships currently passing through the Canal. 

Yesterday, at the Port of Virginia, we celebrated the groundbreaking of two projects that will improve access, safety, and efficiency, allowing the Port to manage the anticipated increases in vessel size and cargo tonnage more effectively...

Port of Virginia groundbreaking
Click on the image to watch video of the groundbreaking from The Daily Press
Continue Reading Port of Virginia Prepares ››
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Yesterday, anticipating the second day of the New York Times Cities For Tomorrow conference, @mslynnross tweeted, "Looking forward to action-packed Day 2 at #NYTCFT...." And in my reply, I had to wonder whether I could deliver on that expectation.

It might not fit everyone's definition of "action-packed," but there was a lot of pretty lively discussion at Cities For Tomorrow, and later in the day when I met students and faculty at New York University's Rudin Center for Transportation...and again earlier this morning at New York MOVES.

You see, New York's residents, officials, and planners are having a real conversation about transportation, and they're talking about three things that I've been talking about with people across the country: the need to reverse our infrastructure deficit, the need to use transportation to connect people and not to separate them, and the need to protect everyone who uses our streets --including bicyclists and pedestrians.

For now, I just want to talk about one of them...

Continue Reading New York transportation ››
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From mass transit projects to new highways, bridges, sidewalks and hiker/biker trails, effectively addressing transportation needs in communities across the nation shares one common foundation —good planning.

RenoLast week, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced recipients of the biennial 2015 Transportation Planning Excellence Awards to local leaders who are sponsoring forward-thinking transportation projects that deliver lasting benefits to the public.

From Roanoke, Virginia, to Mt. Hood, Oregon, we selected eight projects based on their successes in forging partnerships in the community and developing creative, effective solutions with long-term benefits. Each project also addresses more than one form of transportation...

Continue Reading Meet the Best of the Best ››
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Whether you're a close watcher of the industry or not, you've probably been hearing more lately about public-private partnerships in transportation.  And, chances are that you'll be hearing more about them in the near future.

This nation is facing an infrastructure deficit.  Yet we know that our country is growing –and that we’re going to have more people accessing our roads, rails, and airports than ever before.  And more freight to move than ever before.

This creates an environment where, rather than having a single strategy, we need to have an all-of-the-above strategy. This is where the concept of public-private partnerships – or P3s plays in...

Eagle P3 construction work

Continue Reading P3s Another Valuable Tool ››
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Major trends are shaping the future of our transportation systems.  Our population is growing and aging. Our legacy transit systems need more attention every day.  Our roads and runways face increasing congestion.

America's way of life and continued economic growth depend on meeting these challenges, so this October, DOT and the White House Office of Public Engagement will host a Champions of Change event focused on Beyond Traffic: Innovators in Transportation for the Future.”

I invite you to help us recognize the champions who are making it all possible...

Champions logo

Continue Reading Seeking Innovators for 2015 ››
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The Connect Historic Boston project got its official start last Friday with a groundbreaking that included DOT's Undersecretary for Policy Peter Rogoff and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.

The public ceremony had a much longer guest list, however, because Connect Historic Boston would not be possible without the collaboration of the Federal Highway Administration, the Massachusetts DOT, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, the City of Boston's Public Works Department, the National Park Service, and many others groups.  That long list of partners --and the improvements the project will make to America's oldest functioning street network-- helps make it exactly the kind of innovative undertaking that DOT's TIGER grant program was designed to support.

Which is why our $15.5 million TIGER award is making possible this $23 million effort to improve bicycle and pedestrian access to downtown Boston and its treasure of American history...

Connect Historic Boston graphic showing the various modal connections C.H.B. will allow

Continue Reading Connect Historic Boston ››
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Today we released a set of Fact Sheets showing the condition of transportation in all 50 states. It's not a pretty picture.

Data on Massachusetts showing 52% of bridges in need of attention
Grim data from just one of the 50 fact sheets DOT released today.

A nation's infrastructure is its economic backbone. And you don't need a history book to know that a big part of America's success has long been our willingness to invest in our transportation system. In return, our ability to get supplies to manufacturers, goods to market, and people where they need to go has helped us thrive.

But we've been investing in that ability less and less.  And, as our willingness to invest has declined and transportation spending has decreased, it's no coincidence that —more and more—  Americans in every state are experiencing the frustration of poor road conditions and congestion.

Continue Reading We can't cross that ››
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Like most of our Nation’s major urban areas, New York City is experiencing growing pains. The Big Apple’s rising population means surging needs for freight and services, which have made congestion a common reality for the city’s more than 10 million daily commuters.

However, New York has long had a transportation ace in the hole —its geography and access to water.  New York City is positioned on a series of islands right in the middle of New York Harbor, one of the world’s largest natural harbors.  We at the Maritime Administration (MARAD) have always viewed the harbor as a common sense solution to the city’s transportation challenges, whether it’s using ferries to transport people or ships and barges to move freight, and that’s why we've been making moves to help New York fully leverage this asset. 

Floating containers on barges across the harbor has long been a reliable way to move cargo between New York and New Jersey —without adding to the dense traffic on the region's bridges. That’s why back in April, with MARAD's support, Secretary Foxx formally designated a cross-harbor barge service between Port Newark and Brooklyn as an Official American Marine Highway Project...

Chip Jaenichen at South Brooklyn Marine Terminal

Continue Reading Maritime Solutions for the ››
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Green Marine CertifiedFast Lane readers will know that we haven't been shy about sharing the environmental benefits of shipping freight by water.  From America's Marine Highways to the first LNG-fueled container ship, we think the relative sustainability advantages of maritime shipping add up to a significant benefit for shippers and the public.  And at the end of May, the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation added to the evidence when Green Marine certified the DOT agency's environmental performance.

Green Marine is a voluntary organization certifying environmental stewardship among the North American marine industry.  Participants include shipowners, ports, terminals, and shipyards based in Canada and the United States, as well as the Canadian and U.S. Seaway corporations.  The program encourages participants to reduce their environmental footprint by taking concrete actions in nine different areas.

Continue Reading Seaway's 2014 ››
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Yesterday, the Obama Administration invited communities to participate in the second round of Local Foods, Local Places, an initiative to build strong local food systems as part of strong local economies in rural communities.

Local Foods, Local Places provides direct technical support --agricultural, transportation, public health, environmental, and economic-- to local communities to help spur economic growth and improve the quality of life for all residents. 

At DOT, we support this initiative by working to ensure that local roads and transit services connect farmers, food businesses, markets, and residents...

Truck on rural bridge

Continue Reading Local Foods, Local Places ››
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