Impact of Transportation
by Matt Haugen
VIDEO: Who Closed My Lock? Impact of Extended Closure Studied at Washington State University
PULLMAN - What if dams no longer made inland navigation/ transportation possible on the Columbia and Snake rivers? What would shippers, carriers, ports, individuals and communities do - and how might their responses be used as a model nationwide?
These types of questions and more will be explored in a WSU study of lock closures set to begin early this month.
For several months, navigation locks at dams along the Columbia and Snake rivers will be closed for maintenance and repairs. Expected reopening is mid-March. While there have been closures in the past, the impact of an extended closure hasn't been fully realized.
Ken Casavant, WSU professor of economics, said information gathered from the study could be used for other major shipping routes, like the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.
The study "should establish how shippers can prepare for, and react to, these kinds of impacts," he said.
In addition to shippers, the closure will affect barge companies, ports, workers and their communities.
That trickle-down effect through the job sector is making for creative collaboration among the parties involved. They are working together to provide information and explore alternatives, Casavant said.
He said the closure will show how the Northwest uses trucks and railroads for shipping and what impact a long term return to non-river shipping methods would have on roads and the environment.
Shipping Wheat: Truck or Barge? Ken Casavant, Transportation Report 1995
Railroad may Open Markets by Staff, Union-Bulletin, 4/8/6
Let's Really Talk About Taking Down Those Snake River Dams by Daniel Jack Chasan, Crosscut, 6/7/10
learn more on topics covered in the film
see the video
read the script
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