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7/9/2012



Rail News: Intermodal

Texas DOT's new Panama Canal working group holds inaugural meeting


The Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) newly formed Panama Canal Stakeholder Working Group held its inaugural meeting June 29 in Austin.

The group aims to provide TxDOT input on issues and opportunities associated with the Panama Canal expansion, and offer guidance on short-, medium- and long-term projects designed to facilitate and expedite the movement of import and export trade through Texas’ deep-water ports. The state is trying to gauge and plan for a projected increase in cargo — especially exports — that will be moving through Texas via rail, highways and waterways because of the expanded Panama Canal, TxDOT officials said in a prepared statement.

By year’s end, the group expects to issue a report to TxDOT that analyzes the state’s readiness to handle the potential cargo surge.

Chaired by Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, the group includes representatives from various transportation and government stakeholders, including BNSF Railway Co., Union Pacific Railroad, the Texas Port Association, Port of Houston Authority, Port Corpus Christi, Texas Motor Transportation Association, Texas Economic Development Council and Texas Association of Manufacturers. BNSF’s representative is Vice President of International Intermodal Marketing Fred Malesa and UP’s representative is VP of Public Affairs Joseph Adams.


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