FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FOR INFO: Megan Dittman 618-452-8422
July 15, 2016
Delegation from India learns about U.S. Transportation System
Madison County, IL: U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration Office of Gateways Director Bill Paape, Minister of Road Transport Highways and Shipping of India Shri Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Consulate General of India D.B. Bhati, and other government officials from India visited America’s Central Port on Thursday, July 14. The Minister is an equivalent position to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
The visit from the Minister and his staff and advisors was part of a tour of U.S. maritime facilities in order to understand the infrastructure, capacities, and importance of waterway transportation in the United States. In 2015, highway fatalities in India were four times higher than in the United States. The officials are looking at roadway design, intelligent transportation systems, enforcement of no cell phone usage and creative ways to shift freight movement to other modes.
America’s Central Port Executive Director Dennis Wilmsmeyer and Port Engineer Bill Stahlman briefed the Minister and his staff about the history of the Port, its operations, and recent infrastructure investments before taking a tour of the Port’s developments. They discussed the many benefits of barge operations and how a viable river system can shift trucks from overcrowded roads to waterways.
During the briefing Wilmsmeyer talked about the transfer and conversion of the former Charles Melvin Price Support Center to the current development of the Port District and the infrastructure improvements that the Port has made to attract new businesses to the region since the transfer of the property.
Following the briefing, the group took a tour of the 1,200 acre Port facility, including a stop at the newly constructed Madison Harbor, and then continued north to the Melvin Price Locks and Dam #26.
Other stops on the U.S. tour by the delegation included Washington D.C., Port of New York/New Jersey, San Francisco, and the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach.