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US Maritime Administration designates two new marine highway routes

The United States Department of Transportations Maritime Administration (MARAD) has announced the designation of two new marine highway routes, M-11 in Alaska and M-79 in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.


The newly designated routes are part of the US Marine Highway Program (MHP) and are expected to help speed up the movement of goods, strengthen supply chains, and support local economies in the aforementioned regions.


The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities is the sponsor of the M-11 route, which will add over 6,500 miles to the marine highway system with the inclusion of the coastal and river ports in southwestern and northern Alaska from the Aleutian Islands to the Canadian border.


MARAD said the waterways of the Bering Sea, Bristol Bay, the Arctic Ocean, and the Yukon-Kuskokwim River Delta have been waterborne transportation hubs for centuries, while many communities in this area depend on a system of ports, rivers, barge landings, and airports for the movement of goods and passengers.


The M-11 Route is expected to enhance transportation in these communities and will provide a greater range of waterborne transportation choices.


Moreover, the M-79 route designation is co-sponsored by the Port of Pittsburgh and the Morgantown Monongalia Metropolitan Planning Organization. This route extends the reach of the Ohio River system by nearly 250 miles, adding the easternmost tributary rivers.


The M-79 will serve as an incentive for increased operations, infrastructure investments, and freight movement, especially for new commodities that will move on the water in the future, according to MARAD.


Americas marine highways are vital links in our supply chains, helping to move goods quickly, cleanly, and efficiently,said US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. By expanding our marine highway system, we can strengthen our supply chains, improve port operations, and help keep goods affordable for American families.


Maritime Administrator Ann Phillips commented, Our nations marine highway routes are navigable waterways capable of moving significant quantities of freight at lower costs than other means of transportation. Since its inception in 2010, the MHP has designated 31 marine highway routes.


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