Value to the Nation Fast Facts

Inland Navigation NATIONAL LEVEL Report

Inland Navigation 2017
US Army Corps of Engineers — Value to the Nation

Based on the USACE budget, the largest category of USACE infrastructure investment is in the Navigation program. Activities in this Civil Works program area include the planning, design, maintenance, and construction of new navigation channel works, locks and dams. The following facts are related to the USACE role in Inland Navigation in the United States.

Inland Navigation TONNAGE DATA

Project Tonnage

Aggregates Tonnage: 78,700,000 tons

Chemicals Tonnage: 53,900,000 tons

Coal Tonnage: 112,100,000 tons

Crude Petroleum Tonnage: 33,700,000 tons

Grains Tonnage: 92,400,000 tons

Iron/Steel Tonnage: 27,300,000 tons

Ores/Minerals Tonnage: 11,300,000 tons

Other Commodities Tonnage: 24,200,000 tons

Petroleum Tonnage: 120,000,000 tons

Total Tonnage: 553,600,000 tons

Tonnage Percentages

Percent Tonnage Domestic:  99.89%

Percent Tonnage Foreign:  0.11%


Economic Data

NED Benefit Estimate: $13,157,289,400

Benefits in Perspective

Navigation is the USACE's earliest Civil Works mission, dating back to Federal laws in 1824 authorizing and funding the Corps to improve safety on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and several ports. USACE provides safe, reliable, efficient, and environmentally sustainable waterborne transportation systems (channels, harbors, and waterways) for movement of commerce, national security needs, and recreation. Activities in the Civil Works Navigation Program include planning, designing, constructing, operating, maintaining, and further improving navigation channels, locks and dams.

For the purposes of the Value to the Nation effort, navigation infrastructure has been subdivided into three primary categories: Inland, Coastal, and Great Lakes. Inland infrastructure refers to activities related to channels located within the coastal boundaries of the US. Inland navigation infrastructure and may include locks, dams, and related infrastructure. The USACE maintains 12,000 miles of inland and intracoastal waterways with 218 lock chambers at 176 sites. The system of barge navigation moves over 500 million tons of commodities annually, which includes coal, petroleum products, various other raw materials, food and farm products, chemicals, and manufactured goods.

The primary National Economic Development (NED) benefit of USACE inland navigation infrastructure is the reduction in the cost required to transport commodities compared to the next best alternative (rail transportation).


How these numbers were calculated.

Source: Value to the Nation web site at
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