For the first time since 2007, barges began moving cargo into and out of the Woodswether Terminal of the Port of Kansas City on Monday.
Barge Traffic to Stimulate Kansas City Economy
The Port of Kansas City has experienced significant delays in reopening, but port officials hope that they will still be able to reach their 2015 goal of 206,000 pounds of cargo. According to transportation officials, each barge carries around 87 truck loads of cargo.
Transportation experts say that the port is great news for Kansas City, helping to create more jobs while reducing carbon emissions. The Port Authority hopes to see 12 to 15 barges per month in the near future.
Transportation Experts Say More Cargo Will Move Over Water in the Future
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx praised the port reopening: “As the rail congestion continues to get worse, as the highway congestion continues to get worse, that folks are going to start using the inland waterways much more for their freight movements, even more than they’re using them today.”
Some critics of the port project say that the same low water levels which was partially to blame for closing the port 7 years ago could hinder barge traffic, but barge captains point out that South American rivers are much lower than the Missouri River and still support healthy barge traffic.
Negotiations are underway with Union Pacific to build a railroad spur at the terminal, which is expected to begin in September.