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Investing in our inland waterways is both crucial to their survival as well as a key way to expand the economy, according to research conducted by UT and the University of Kentucky.

Commissioned by the National Waterways Foundation, the two-year study, “Inland Navigation in the United States: An Evaluation of Economic Impacts and the Potential Effects of Infrastructure Investment,” was led at UT by Larry Bray and Mark Burton, both of the Center for Transportation Research as well as the Department of Economics.

Among other findings in the report, detailed in Maritime Global News:

  • The completion of 21 key projects at a cost of $5.8 billion would net an $82 billion return in economic activity over 20 years
  • Investing in inland waterways could sustain 541,000 jobs
  • The loss or degradation of the waterway system through lack of investment could result in everything from a spike in the cost of goods to increased electric bills

The full report can be seen at Maritime Global News.