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Transportation Week is at hand

By Staff | May 13, 2011

National Transportation Week is May 14-20. This celebration of the transportation industry has taken place each May since it became a permanent event in 1962. An annual observance taking note of this vital industry’s importance to the nation dates back to the 1950s.

That makes this an appropriate time to remind readers of the importance of a first-class transportation system to the economic future of northern and central Iowa. Roads, rail service, air travel and trucking are all part of the story.

Progress in turning U.S. Highway 20 into a statewide, four-lane thoroughfare – from Dubuque to Sioux City – has been a priority for decades. Federal and state monies made available, in part, to stimulate the economy are making possible substantial progress on Highway 20 and other road projects. That’s good news for the economy of all of northern Iowa and is a sensible investment in long-term prosperity.

Railroads don’t come to mind as frequently as they did in the era when passenger traffic was a major part of their business. Even so, they remain vital to both the Iowa economy and that of the nation. The existence of an exceptional rail network for servicing the ethanol and other agriculture-related industries has been a critical factor in the decision of major companies to locate in the Hawkeye State.

Airports such as the Fort Dodge Regional Airport are an asset that also help keep major businesses in the regions they serve. They are persuasive talking points that figure prominently in efforts to keep investment flowing into a region.

Trucking companies are also a vital part of the transportation story. Fort Dodge for example is the base for a major company – Decker Truck Line Inc. – and a number of smaller trucking enterprises. These vibrant businesses – and Iowa boasts some excellent ones – help keep the state prosperous.

As rural Iowa builds for an exciting economic tomorrow, National Transportation Week is a good time to recognize and pay tribute to this key industry’s important role in shaping the state’s future.

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