Soy Transportation Coalition Releases ‘Top 10 Most Wanted List’ of Infrastructure Priorities

The Soy Transportation Coalition (STC) released a list of infrastructure priorities this week, urging policy makers to include and understand the interests of rural America.

“Farmers should realize that if we are unwilling to promote the transportation solutions that would benefit our industry, we should not expect others to do so,” said Gerry Hayden, a soybean farmer from Calhoun, Ky., American Soybean Association board member and chairman of the Soy Transportation Coalition. “During this pivotal time in which the White House and Congress are developing a strategy for improving our multi-modal transportation system, it is critical the farmer perspective has a seat at the table.”

The list includes improvements to roads, bridges, railways, waterway systems and more.

Top 10 Most Wanted List

  • Maintenance and rehabilitation of locks and dams to significantly reduce the potential for unexpected, widespread, and prolonged failure. Priority should be devoted to ensuring the reliability of locks and dams along the nation’s inland waterways. Available funding for new construction of locks and dams should be directed first to locks and dams 20-25 on the Mississippi River.
  • Dredging the lower Mississippi River between Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to the Gulf of Mexico to 50 ft.
  • Ensuring the Columbia River shipping channel from Portland, Oregon, to the Pacific Ocean is maintained at no less than 43 ft.
  • Permit six axle, 91,000 lbs. semis to operate on the interstate highway system.
  • Increase the federal tax on gasoline and diesel fuel by ten cents a gallon and index the tax to inflation. Ensure rural areas receive proportionate, sufficient funding from the fuel tax increase.
  • Provide greater predictability and reliability of funding for the locks and dams along the inland waterway system.
  • Provide block grants to states to replace the top twenty most critical rural bridges.
  • Provide grants to states to implement rural bridge load testing projects to more accurately diagnose which bridges are sufficient and which bridges are deficient.
  • Ensure full utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for port improvement initiatives.
  • Permanent (or at least multi-year) extension of the short line railroad tax credit.