Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cincinnati Intermodal Port

The Enquirer editorial page ran a pro versus con piece on the proposed intermodal port in Cincinnati along the Ohio River.  Intermodal transportation is moving freight by using containers that prevents having to unload and load the freight each time the means of transportation changes.  Either 40 or 80 foot shipping containers are switched between various modes of transportation (trucking, ship, rail) without the cargo having to be handled.  It is a very efficient means of transporting goods either across the country or around the world.


The two articles appearing on the editorial page covered some of the basic issues but I think both missed two important points regarding an intermodal port.  The obvious benefit of creating an intermodal port are the potential jobs associated with operating and supporting the port.  New jobs would help lead the economic recovery of the region.  The port would operate 24/7 and in addition to the jobs at the port, numerous other jobs would be created to support port operations.  Technical support, logistics, maintenance and food services would all be required to support the port.


The writer of the con article was against the port because eminent domain would take homes away from local residents.  I never agree with people losing their homes, however the greater con is the increased wheeled traffic associated with the port.  More containers being handled in Cincinnati would mean an increase amount of truck traffic on I-75.  The increase traffic would add even more wear and tear to the Brent Spence Bridge and roads.  Hazardous freight poses a risk to the Ohio River in the event containers are damaged.  Increased barge traffic means more pollution and increase potential for recreational boat traffic to collide with the commercial traffic.


The proposed intermodal port would help the economic recovery for Cincinnati and Southwestern Ohio.  However, the impact of such a project needs to be clearly thought through the implications need to be understood by all.

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