The University of Arkansas will receive $1.4 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to create a Maritime Transportation Research and Education Center (MarTREC).
The center will expand the U of A’s transportation research by improving maritime and multimodal logistics management; building infrastructure; and promoting livability and emergency management of coastal and river valley communities, noted a joint statement from U.S. Sens. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and John Boozman, R-Ark., and U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, R-Rogers.
“From our highways to our waterways, we’re transporting billions of dollars in goods across our state every year,” Pryor said in the statement. “This funding will allow us to make much-needed improvements to our transportation systems so they stay efficient, competitive, and an integral component of Arkansas’s economy.”
The UA will establish MarTREC as part of the DOT’s University Transit Center (UTC) program. Their partners will include Jackson State University, Louisiana State University, and the University of New Orleans. This will be the first UTC focused on Maritime Transportation research.
The UA is also part of the UTC consortium at the University of Oklahoma, which is slated to receive $2,592,500 to develop solutions to climate adaptive transportation and freight infrastructure issues.
“Washington’s focus has to remain on job creation. While the government can’t create jobs, it can create an environment that entices companies to hire. One of the best ways we can do that is to improve our infrastructure. This new center at the U of A will provide important research on how to develop business-friendly infrastructure solutions that attract more jobs to Arkansas,” Boozman said.
“Whether to our highways, airports, or waterways, the investment in and development of our transportation infrastructure is vital for the continued growth of Arkansas’s economy,” said Womack. “These funds – in conjunction with funding received from participation in the University of Oklahoma’s UTC consortium – will allow us to find solutions to and make the infrastructure improvements Arkansas needs."