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In 10 years, an additional 1.8 million trucks will be on the road; in 20 years, for every two trucks today, another one will be added. Already bottlenecks on major highways used by truckers every day are adding millions of dollars to the cost of food, goods, and manufacturing equipment for American consumers. As a result, according to a new report, the transportation system that supports the movement of freight across America is facing a crisis.
In a new report, Unlocking Freight, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) finds our highways, railroads, ports, waterways and airports require investments well beyond current levels to maintain - much less improve - their performance. The report identifies key projects in 30 states that would improve freight delivery and dependability, and offers a three-point plan to address what is needed to relieve freight congestion, generate jobs and improve productivity.
Despite more long-distance freight being moved by intermodal rail, the report finds that trucks will still carry 74 percent of the load. On average, 10,500 trucks a day travel some segments of the Interstate Highway System. By 2035, this will increase to 22,700 commercial trucks for these portions of the Interstate, with the most heavily used segments seeing upwards of 50,000 trucks a day. Yet between 1980 and 2006, traffic on the Interstate Highway System increased by 150 percent while Interstate capacity increased by only 15 percent. The report identifies the 1,000 miles of most heavily traveled highways used by trucks.
Unlocking Freight is the second in a series of reports generated by AASHTO to identify the need to increase capacity in our transportation system. For more information and to see state examples of freight capacity needs, go to http://expandingcapacity.transportation.org.
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