Moving Stuff by Water – Cheaper, Safer, Greener

We were reminded at today’s National Maritime Day celebration at the DECC that maritime transportation is vital part of the national and our own local economy.

Waterborne transport efficiently moves both bulky natural resource materials and finished goods to global destinations.

Jim Weakly, president of the Lake Carriers’Association, in his keynote address, pointed out that Without water transportation the cost of all goods would be much higher.  Moving bulk goods by water is the most efficient, least costly, safest and most environmentally friendly method of transportation.  If water transportation was not available, all of those goods and materials would have to move by land which would increase congestion and cause higher levels of air pollution due to increased fuel use.

The Forgotten Mode?

Maritime transportation can be the forgotten method of moving goods and people—even here in Duluth, home of many a boat nerd.  Ships are visible to the general public when they are in port but while in transit may be many miles from shore and it’s out of sight, out of mind.

Here in the Twin Ports, iron ore from the Minnesota Iron Range moves to steel mills in the lower Great Lakes. Grain from western Minnesota and the eastern Dakotas moves to destinations throughout the world.  Nationally and internationally, finished consumer export and import goods arrive and depart from our coastal ports.  Almost everything we consume has at some point moved by water.

National Maritime Day

Originally held in observance of the value and importance of the U.S. maritime industry, National Maritime Day commemorated May 22, 1819, when the SS SAVANNAH sailed from her home port of Savannah, Ga., bound for Liverpool, England, becoming the first steam vessel to cross the Atlantic Ocean.  The observance later became more of a day to honor merchant mariners and merchant marine veterans, primarily those involved in WWII and other armed conflicts around the world.

Today, through efforts of numerous organizations including the Propeller Club of the United States, National Maritime Day is observed as a combined salute to merchant mariners, merchant marine veterans and the entire maritime industry, focusing attention on the benefits maritime brings to America’s economy, trade, national security, employment, environmental protection, recreation and quality of life.

M/V Hon. James L. Oberstar

The Interlake Steamship Company has announced the renaming of the ship Charles M. Beeghly in recognition of the Hon. James Oberstar, retired United States Congressman from the State of Minnesota.  The naming of the ship is in recognition of Congressman Oberstar’s work toward improving maritime transportation in the Great Lakes.  A ceremony christening the newly named ship will be held harbor side of the DECC on Tuesday May 23 at 10:30am.

Who, Me, Bike to Work? Yes, You!

When is the last time you smelled the lake air during your morning commute?

Or pulled into the parking lot with a big smile on your face, pumped with endorphins and ideas? Or lost a few pounds just by traveling back and forth to work every day?

Likely never, if you slide behind the wheel of your vehicle each morning.

But what if one day you left the car in the driveway and rode a bike instead?

On Friday, May 20th, we invite you to ride your bike to work. To reward your commute, we’ll have a couple of bicycle stations open from 6:30 am to 8:30 am with

  • Coffee, water and refreshments
  • Bike mechanics to look at brakes, tire pressure and other safety checks
  • Advance copies of the new and improved Duluth-Superior Bike Map

The bike stations will be located at:

  • Lake Ave & Superior Street in Duluth (Minnesota Power Plaza)
  • Tower Ave & Belknap Street in Superior (City Center Park)

Give biking to work a try – for just one day. Stop by and say hello.

Detour Ahead: Find Out Exactly Which Streets You’ll Have to Avoid This Construction Season

Congratulations, you have survived another winter in Duluth-Superior!

Coming soon…the construction season.

Work has already resumed on the I-35 Mega Project, but many other city, county, and state projects are scheduled for the Duluth-Superior area this year, including:

  • Midway Road (U.S. Hwy 2 – MN HWY 194)
  • West Skyline Parkway around Enger Park
  • 21st Avenue East;
  • Arrowhead Road from Kenwood to Rice Lake Road
  • Martin Road from Howard Gnesen Road to Rice Lake Road
  • U.S. Hwy 2/Belknap Street from Hill Avenue to East 2nd Street

Click on the “plus” sign on the map, below, to zoom in and then click on the traffic cones for details about specific projects:

View Larger Map

Give it a try and tell us what you think.

Guiding the Future of Transportation and Planning – With Your Input


We need your input to help us accomplish our mission: ”Guiding the Future of Transportation for the Twin Ports Area.” Our job is to think ahead and plan for ways that federally-funded infrastructure investments can improve the ways we travel around this area — not just on roads, but also on foot, by bike, and on the bus.

Part of what we do is to seek out and incorporate ideas and information from area residents, elected officials, planners and engineers from all local jurisdictions (city, county, state and township). With your input we can encourage good local policy decisions and put forward projects for federal transportation funding that will enhance livability and optimize the movement of people and goods within the Duluth and Superior metropolitan area.

That’s where this blog comes in. We’re looking forward to speaking with you about everything transportation-related going on in the Twin Ports. If you want to be alerted when we start posting content later this month, just drop your e-mail into the slot on the right that says “Want This Blog Via Email?”

And we’re already talking with you on Facebook.  To join us there, just click on the link here.http://www.facebook.com/dsmic

Bye for now.  Hope you’ll stay tuned and become part of the conversation.