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Highlights of Detroit TEA-21 National Listening Session
Corridors and Borders
Detroit, Michigan
August 27, 1998

OVERALL: The key issue in the Detroit session was how to distribute funding under the new National Corridor Planning and Border Infrastructure Programs. Attendees debated whether funds should be concentrated on international border programs or distributed throughout the country. Additionally, there was much discussion about whether funding should be spent on marine and air ports of entry or only on surface transportation improvements at border crossings. As in San Diego, the most difficult issue was how to implement the program to make the most out of a small amount of funding given national needs.

Business leaders discussed the importance of just-in-time delivery and noted that while they could count on most interstate truck movement for just-in-time delivery, the moment that the truck had to cross an international border, this was no longer possible.

Support for ITS Investments to Improve Operations:

Businesses were interested in both the physical capacity of the infrastructure as well as investing in streamlining entry processing through intelligent transportation systems (ITS) applications and administrative coordination on both sides of the border.

There was also some discussion about separating trade facilitation from enforcement and interdiction efforts. Customs officials indicated that this might be very difficult and that even today, given the volume of movement of goods, they were only able to check a small percentage of the goods.

Fund Distribution Proposals:

Sid Morrison, the Secretary of the Washington State Department of Transportation asked that the funding not be spread between too many projects to have any substantial impact. At the same time, Charles Rountree with the Idaho Department of Transportation asked that each High Priority Corridor receive some funding, and representatives from Maine suggested that the funding be divided among regions, since small rural areas would never be able to compete with border crossings in areas like Detroit.

Specific Suggestions:

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