Research study heralds economic impact of Tenn-Tom Waterway

May 15, 2009



The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway has an economic impact locally and nationally, a recent study shows. 


The waterway serves Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee, connecting Mid-America and the Gulf of Mexico. 


Researchers from Troy University and the University of Tennessee began the study in 2007 to assess the economic benefits of the waterway since 1995, the last year in which an assessment was conducted. Tax revenue, labor income, job creation and total economic impact were analyzed.  


According to the study, since 1996, the region has realized over 29,000 jobs directly created and a national economic impact of $43 billion due to the existence and usage of the waterway. 


Nearly as many additional jobs have been indirectly created due to industry-to-industry transactions related to the waterway. The labor income resulting from these created jobs, during this time period, is estimated to be $7 billion. Federal and state tax revenues alone equate to $2.9 billion. 


"With thousands of jobs directly created and billions in private investment since 1996, the waterway has certainly proven to have been a wise investment for Mississippi, the region and the nation," Mike Tagert, administrator of the four-state compact, said. 


The amount of tonnage moving on the waterway is equivalent to an additional 284,000 trucks per year that might otherwise move on our highway and interstate road system, the study found.