Over the next thirty years, freight tonnage is expected to increase by 40% nationwide, with tonnage carried by trucks increasing by almost 45%. To address these challenges, we are developing a Regional Freight Plan, to be completed in the fall of 2017. This plan will serve as the Freight element of the 2045 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), and provide the basis by which future funding priorities of the Birmingham Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) are established for freight related accommodations within Jefferson, Shelby and portions of St. Clair and Blount Counties.
In addition to three major interstate highways crossing our region, three Class I railroads, and several Class III and terminal railroads are located in the Birmingham Metropolitan Planning Area. Other freight transportation assets include two airports (Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, BHM, and Bessemer Airport (EKY) that conduct freight operations, several port facilities along the Locust Fork of the Black Warrior River (part of Marine Highway 65), and numerous pipeline operators with storage and distribution facilities. More than 70% of the freight tonnage in the Birmingham region uses three interstate highways, along with numerous US Highways, state highways, and local roads leading to loading docks throughout the region.
We look forward to working with partners from all modes of the freight transportation industry, our member governments and other stakeholders to find ways to keep the movement of goods flowing through central Alabama.
For information on the I59-20 replacement project, please visit http://5920bridge.com