Assessing Maritime Infrastructure along the Mississippi: Chokepoints and Implications for Food Security

The Mississippi River is a major part of the Maritime Transportation System (MTS) and has been referred to as ‘America’s inland hydro highway’. It is a critical food security corridor functioning as a major trading thoroughfare for US goods and commodities to and from the rest of the world. The complex river system is considered one of humanity’s greatest civil engineering feats. However, the strain on the river system is only becoming more acute due to ageing infrastructure and the impacts of climate change. Up and down the Mississippi River, new pressures are being put on river, impacting the environment and wildlife, and cities and towns along the river banks. In recent times, cities and farms near the river have been inundated by record precipitation and flooding. Of particular interest is the impact of these pressures on the creation of chokeholds and vulnerabilities to the food and agriculture supply chains. These supply chains are inherently complex due to their interdependency with critical infrastructure systems including maritime and multimodal transportation with the largest risk to agricultural trade resulting from age and inadequate or inappropriate infrastructure. It is imperative to close the infrastructure gap, which is not just a function of more construction; new developments must be smart and able to withstand increasingly hostile weather and elements of climate change as they age. Consolidating the evidence around the importance of chokepoints on the Mississippi River Delta to food security, and enhancing understanding of the nature of hazards and vulnerabilities are key steps in converting chokepoint analysis into policy and strategic action.


    • English


    • Status: Completed
    • Funding: $82500
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      Maritime Transportation Research and Education Center

      University of Arkansas
      Fayetteville, AR  United States  72701
    • Performing Organizations:

      Jackson State University, Jackson

      Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
      Jackson, MS  United States  39217-0168
    • Principal Investigators:

      Whalin, Robert

    • Start Date: 20211101
    • Expected Completion Date: 20231031
    • Actual Completion Date: 20230930
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01790430
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Maritime Transportation Research and Education Center
    • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747130
    • Files: UTC, RIP
    • Created Date: Dec 6 2021 2:23PM