The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) advanced plans in early February to reduce traffic tie-ups on several of the nation’s busiest highways by releasing a short list of interstate corridors under the Corridors of the Future program. According to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters, the Corridors of the Future effort is a progressive approach that includes transportation planning across state lines in ways that reduce congestion and preserve the efficient flow of goods and commerce.
The DOT is advancing 14 of 38 proposals located on the following eight major transportation corridors:
- I-95 between Florida and Maine;
- I-15 in southern California and Nevada;
- I-80/94 and I-90 linking Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan;
- I-5 in California, Washington, and Oregon;
- I-70 from Missouri to Ohio;
- I-69 from Texas to Michigan;
- I-80 in Nevada and California; and
- I-10 from California to Florida.
The 14 projects were selected based on the potential of each to reduce congestion on the eight corridors of national and regional significance using innovative financing and project delivery techniques. Proposals currently include various combinations of expanded highway capacity, truck-only lanes, increased freight and passenger rail development, and extensive use of innovative technologies to keep traffic moving and improve overall safety. Ideas will be further developed and refined during the next phase of the program and the DOT will select as many as five Corridors of the Future this summer.
Peters said the DOT will aggressively support development of the Corridors of the Future by accelerating permitting schedules, identifying new financing options, and promoting innovative project delivery methods to "move these projects from the drawing board to completion faster than ever before."
The Corridors of the Future program is one element of DOT’s six-point National Strategy to Reduce Congestion on America’s Transportation Network launched in May 2006. The overall national congestion initiative is focused on reducing traffic on highways, relieving freight bottlenecks, and reducing flight delays.