The “North America Super Corridor Coalition” (NASCO) opens its annual meeting today in Des Moines. Coalition communications director, Frank Conde, says the group began with a focus on the Interstate 35 corridor, but has expanded to include Interstates 29 and 94.
“The corridor is very important to North America, because to its northern end it represents the business commercial boarder crossing in North America at Detroit/windsor and at the southern end at Lorado, Texas, it represents the second busiest border crossing in North America,” Conde says. He says Iowa and Des Moines is the heart and soul of the entire corridor. The group will talk about several issues, including border security.
Conde says NASCO was one of the first groups to advocate for increased security at the border, as he says you can’t streamline and make freight crossings more efficient without focusing on the troublesome freight cargo possibilities. Conde says a safe border is key to keeping things moving.
Conde says the same way we need capacity for highways and bridges, there needs to be more infrastructure building at the borders, as the capacity of trade has tripled, but the capacity to get freight though he borders has not increased. Union truck drivers have raised concerns over drivers from Mexico being allowed on U.S. highways.
Conde says that’s an issue that is out of NASCO’s hands. He says that’s a discussion going on between the U.S. government and the Mexican government and they are not privy or involved in that discussion. Conde says the studies done by the corridor show the economy is turning around.
“Shippers are finding that there’s every greater demand happening — the need to first restock shelves after the great recession, caused a lot of movement of transportation. And now we’re in an expansive mode…we’re growing rather slowly,” he explains. Conde says they’re working to meet that increased demand for products as consumers return to the spending mode.
The U.S. Transportation Director will be one of the speakers at today’s meeting.