The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) yesterday announced the designation of a new Marine Highway Project in the Lower Raritan as part of the America’s Marine Highway Program (AMHP), the Port Raritan Terminal Facility.
The “Marine Highway Project” designation will support service from the Raritan Port located in the Lower Raritan Watershed to various locations in New York City, accommodating Roll-on/Roll-off (Ro-Ro) barges carrying wheeled containers, ferries capable of carrying trucks, Lift-on/Lift-off (Lo-Lo) barges that can be used to support offshore wind-energy turbines, and other services.
According to the press release, project goals include:
- create and sustain jobs in U.S. vessels, ports and shipyards
- relieve landside congestion
- reduce maintenance costs and improve the U.S. transportation system’s overall state-of-repair (wear and tear on roads and bridges)
- drive the mandatory use of emerging engine technologies
- improve U.S. economic competitiveness by adding new cost-effective freight and passenger transportation capacities
- improve environmental sustainability of the U.S. transportation system by using less energy and reducing air emissions (such as greenhouse gases) per passenger or ton-mile of freight moved
- improve public safety and security by providing alternatives for the movement of hazardous materials outside heavily populated areas
- improve transportation system resiliency and redundancy by providing transportation alternatives during times of disaster or national emergency
- improve national security by adding to the nation’s strategic sealift resources.