A delegation from India visited America’s Central Port in Granite City on July 14.
GRANITE CITY — Government officials from India visited America’s Central Port on July 14 as part of a tour of maritime facilities to understand U.S. waterway transportation.
Visitors included Shri Nitin Jairam Gadkari, minister of road transport highways and shipping of India, and his staff and advisers; along with Bill Paape, director of the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration Office of Gateways. The minister has an equivalent position to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
In 2015, highway fatalities in India were four times higher than in the United States. The officials are looking at road 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 port’s history, 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 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 continued north to the Melvin Price Locks and Dam No. 26.
Other stops on the tour included Washington, D.C., Port of New York and New Jersey, San Francisco, and the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach.