Economic Impact of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway on the States It Serves

The purpose of this report is to examine the economic impact of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) on the five states it serves: Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. The GIWW is a critical freight transportation thoroughfare that links Gulf Coast economies in these five states together. This report assesses the economic importance of the GIWW as a transportation infrastructure asset. This project involved several research tasks. First, researchers estimated the economic impact of the GIWW by looking specifically at the impact of the commodities using the GIWW in the relevant coastal counties in each of these five states. Once this task was completed, researchers then estimated the impact of the GIWW on other modes, modeling the possible adverse impacts that would result if the GIWW were to become permanently unavailable and shippers would instead have to use the next economically feasible transportation mode. For example, many petrochemical companies currently depend on the GIWW to transport commodities to other facilities along the Gulf Coast for further processing and refinement. Partial or full closure of the GIWW could mean these companies would be forced to consider more frequent, lighter loads to reduce barge draft depths, or consider alternate modes such as rail or truck transportation—a costly and inconvenient disruption. Researchers examined the cost of shifting additional traffic to other modes of transportation. Because of the critical importance the oil and petrochemical industry has on the Gulf Coast region, this research also assessed recent trends in the energy industry, including an examination of possible increases in oil and gas production from hydraulic fracturing activity in Texas and Louisiana.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This document was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Texas A&M Transportation Institute

    Texas A&M University System
    3135 TAMU
    College Station, TX  United States  77843-3135

    Maritime Transportation Research and Education Center (MarTREC)

    University of Arkansas
    4190 Bell Engineering Center
    Fayetteville, AR  United States  72701

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
  • Publication Date: 2018-9


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Research Report
  • Features: Figures; Maps; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 44p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01685226
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747130
  • Created Date: Oct 31 2018 5:13PM