Morris Herald News: Professor John Taylor tapped by Michigan attorney general for research

There’s a proposed wall that several State’s officials would like to see built and likely will be part of a congressional and national debate in 2019. This wall is proposed for Joliet, with a $5.9 million price tag, to close down the lock at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam. It’s not a new discussion on an issue that has history dating back to the Chicago River reversal in 1900, which created the shipping canal connection between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River, and the importation of the Asian carp species to Arkansas fishing farms starting in the 1970s. Those fish escaped a Lake of the Ozarks farm during 1994 flooding, reached the Mississippi River and now the fight continues to keep the invasive species from reaching the Great Lakes. The cost of the wall to the shipping industry was estimated in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ draft proposal for fixing the Brandon Road Lock and Dam system as $318.7 million in costs associated with changing the mode of transportation for the freight. That inevitably would lead to more truck traffic in the already-saturated areas of the current highway system. Both sides believe the other’s numbers are inflated, and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette commissioned a study to show it. Schuette’s report shows that although shipping methods will have to change, industry is expected to adjust in ways that will keep the costs far lower than estimated. “This overstatement of costs is due both to the unrealistically high traffic assumptions made by the corps and alternative overland route cost estimates that are implausible and would not occur in the real world,” said the study, co-authored by Wayne State University Marketing and Supply Chain Management chairman John C. Taylor and JLRoach Inc. President James L. Roach.

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