The barge industry is taking a page from freight railroad’s ad campaign to make its efficiencies known. They want to remind elected officials and average Americans that the river infrastructure, on which barge traffic depends, also needs funding as locks and dams operate on borrowed time.
Unless they live near a major river, most Americans, never think about the barges that move raw materials and finished goods through 38 states. But this system, with its many locks and dams, is in the same position as other transportation infrastructure: aging and in need of funding for repairs.
There have already been catastrophes narrowly averted, with locks leaking and walls collapsing. Now an industry that has tried hard to stay out of the limelight realizes it needs support in the federal transportation debate. So the barge industry has banded together for a new PR campaign.
Perhaps soon we will all see ads claiming how many tons of freight a barge can move on that single gallon of fuel.