From the President and Vice President to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez, and many others at DOT, the Obama Administration is working to keep the economy--and the freight that fuels it--moving forward. From ports to rail to roads, America needs a coordinated effort to keep our economic arteries flowing as effectively as possible.
Yesterday, as part of that ongoing effort, we proposed designating a series of highways as a Primary Freight Network.
Designating these sections of highway will help the States direct their road maintenance and improvement resources where they can have the biggest economic impact. As Administrator Mendez said, "By identifying critical freight highways, we will focus more attention on the routes upon which America’s businesses rely."
A FHWA analysis looked at the origins and destination of freight loads, shipping tonnage as well as value, and truck traffic volume. As part of our analysis, we also considered regional and local population. From that data, we identified more than 41,000 miles of connected roads throughout the nation that are most critical for moving goods efficiently.
The reality is clear: America's businesses can only grow as fast as we can move the goods they need and produce. By improving our ability to move freight, we expand our nation's potential for economic growth.
As Secretary Foxx said, "To create jobs, remain competitive and strengthen the economy, we must develop a more strategic approach to moving freight."
Proposing a highway Primary Freight Network as part of our National Freight Network is a step toward that approach. But it's only a proposal; the next step must come from you.
In its Notice to the Federal Register yesterday, the FHWA invited comment on all aspects of this draft designation including the importance of a PFN; the routes we proposed; the scope and criteria for the highway PFN; and potential uses for the highway PFN.
So if you're a business owner, shipper, commercial truck driver, or someone with an interest in roads or freight, this is your chance to weigh in.
Freight is the lifeblood of our economy; together, we can keep it moving.