FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Some western Arkansas community leaders are hoping new jobs will flow into the state with the construction of two new public ports on the Arkansas River.
The Arkansas Waterways Commission says shipping by barge averages less than a penny per ton per mile. Regional Intermodal Transportation Authority manager Mat Pitsch told the Northwest Arkansas Times (http://bit.ly/rShecC) that manufacturers will move to where raw materials come in and finished goods can go out at the lowest cost.
But the only public port between Little Rock and the Arkansas-Oklahoma line is the Port of Fort Smith on the Poteau River, which empties into the Arkansas River. He has little empty land around it for industries to locate.
Business leaders want the Arkansas River channel deepened so barges can ship heavier loads.
©2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.