Jeffrey Caldwell 804-786-2715
Jennifer Pickett (804) 786-7432
Nov. 6, 2008
SIX STATES SIGN MEMORADUM OF UNDERSTANDING TO ENSURE VITALITY OF I-81 CORRIDOR
Working together, the states will ensure a coordinated direction for public investment in both rail and highway infrastructure.
Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York have agreed to work together in planning and federal advocacy efforts for improvements to the I-81 corridor, including a seamless approach to I-81 corridor freight study efforts.
The effort’s overall goal is to ensure the economic vitality of the corridor while improving public safety in the face of increasing truck traffic.
“The six I-81 states need to work together to assess the long-term needs of the I-81 corridor and to advocate for those needs at the state and federal level,” Virginia Secretary of Transportation Pierce R. Homer told the group. “We have to establish a corridor-wide vision and develop transportation solutions to ensure that this vital artery continues to support our communities and the economic prosperity of the nation.”
The MOU calls for the states to:
- Share and coordinate I-81 region freight truck and rail study planning
Coordinate the operating and capital plan and studies
Convene a steering committee composed of representatives from each state to provide guidance for studies and plans
Consider a joint work plan to identify long term funding needs
Make recommendations that include highway and rail facility and technological improvements, and identify public and private benefits of the improvements and costs
“There is no single project or initiative that can solve today’s challenges along this corridor,” said Tennessee Assistant Commissioner of Transportation Edward Cole. “We must look for integrated highway and rail solutions to ensure that we can meet the needs of future generations who will depend on the I-81 corridor to connect our states and ensure regional commerce.”
“When considering the growing demand for the movement of goods complicated by recently experienced dramatic swings in energy costs and the impact of freight movement on our environment - there is no better time than now to work together to find regional solutions,” said Pennsylvania Secretary of Transportation Allen Biehler.
For more information about the multi-state MOU and the I-81 corridor, visit http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/constSTAN-I81-CorridorMtgIntro.asp.
To view the MOU, click here.
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