Growing Freight Demand deserves
new Investment, Transportation Study says
ODOT Director joins national launch of multi-modal freight capacity report
DES MOINES, IOWA (Thursday, July 8, 2010) - In 10 years, an additional 1.8 million trucks will be on the nation’s roads; the widening of the Panama Canal will shift significant volumes of goods from West Coast ports to ports on the Atlantic Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico, and overall freight carried by rail will grow 38 percent from today’s quantities.
As a result, according to a new national report released today, the transportation system that supports the movement of freight across America and into Ohio deserves continued and new federal investment.
Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jolene M. Molitoris joined her colleagues from ten Midwestern states for the release of this new report, Unlocking Freight, researched by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).
AASHTO’s analysis of America’s multi-modal freight system finds that the nation’s highways, railroads, ports, waterways, and airports require investments well beyond current federal levels to maintain - much less improve - their performance. The report identifies key projects across the country that could improve freight delivery and dependability.
AASHTO President and Mississippi Transportation Director Larry "Butch" Brown said, "The simple fact is: No transportation, no economy. They are inseparable."
"The nation's multi-modal freight transportation system directly affects economic development, current and future jobs, and the quality of life in our communities," said ODOT Director Molitoris at a special news event in Des Moines, Iowa. "Today, the American freight transportation system supports more than 10 million jobs across our nation - from couriers, truckers, laborers, shippers, railroad conductors and mechanics to postal carriers, warehouse operators and stock clerks."
"Think about how many more jobs will be added as the logistics and distribution industry grows over time. You begin to see the reason why this study is so important for Ohio and the Midwest," added Director Molitoris.
The report identifies the top 1,000 miles of most heavily traveled highways used by trucks, including Interstate 70 and Interstate 80 through Ohio.
AASHTO also brings attention to the nation’s top highway interchange bottlenecks for trucking, which cause an estimated $19 billion in lost productivity. Among the top 20 chokepoints are two interchanges in Ohio: the Interstate 70-71 interchange with State Route 315 in Columbus (with an estimated 367,500 hours of delay each year for trucks) and the Interstate 75 interchange with Interstate 74 near Cincinnati (with an estimated 305,800 hours of delay each year).
With 60 percent of the nation’s population just a day’s drive from Ohio’s major cities, Ohio is a leading hub for the logistics and distribution industry. The state’s agricultural and manufacturing supply chain is also crucial to the economic recovery of Ohio and the nation.
Unlocking Freight is the second in a series generated by AASHTO to identify the need to increase capacity in our transportation system and identify additional federal investment in state transportation efforts. The report was launched as part of AASHTO’s Mississippi Valley Conference Annual Meeting in Des Moines.
For more information contact: Scott Varner, ODOT Central Office Communications, at 614-644-8640.
A copy of the AASHTO freight capacity report is available at http://expandingcapacity.transportation.org