Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Letters to the Editor

May 25, 2013

City missing the point of intermodal

I have posted information about Bluefield’s proposed “intermodal” center as a comment regarding the candidates story online.  I am providing this information to you in hopes the following will be published and that you will at least follow up on the true situation regarding the “intermodal” center. Apparently, our mayor, our board, our city manager and our news outlets do not know how to use a simple Internet search to learn about intermodal transportation.

 The Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) has adopted The Uniform Intermodal Interchange & Facilities Access Agreement. It “is a standard interchange contract developed to promote intermodal productivity and operating efficiencies through the development of uniform industry processes and procedures governing the interchange of intermodal equipment between ocean carriers, railroads, equipment leasing companies and intermodal trucking companies.”

The IANA has a website providing information on intermodal transportation. Bluefield will never have intermodal transportation, that is, shipping in the form of trucking, railroad and ocean carriers. Consultants have been paid big money to use this term even though we’ll never have it.

 Apparently, our mayor and city board have been duped. The only “intermodal” transportion in Bluefield is vehicle and bus traffic. I went to one board meeting with such a consultant and, after much evasion, the upshot was an “admission” that we have no “intermodal” transportation. I asked for a show of hands by attendees whether any of them will use bus service. Almost everyone there forgot how to raise a hand!

 I wish the mayor and board had employed me in place of consultants — I would have happily provided this information at a fraction of the cost.  Bluefield is not “Field of Dreams”... if we build it they will not come! Bluefield has wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars engaging consultants. It has indicated Bluefield will apply for millions of dollars from the federal government to complete the “intermodal” project.  People, this money is not free - our federal tax dollars are being used.  If this is just one example of wasting our tax money, imagine how much more waste is out there in this country. Representative Rahall’s enthusiasm in wasting tax dollars is appalling!

 Susan Henderson

Bluefield

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