States Identify “Urgent” Infrastructure Projects

States Identify “Urgent” Infrastructure Projects

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials on Thursday released a report identifying 55 “urgent” capacity projects to improve freight movement.

The list is in a report “Unlocking Freight,” the second of three designed to reinforce the group’s call on Congress to pass a comprehensive transportation spending plan.

AASHTO said there are 55 projects in 30 states, with 20 of them improvements to the Interstate Highway System.

At a meeting of the Mississippi Valley Conference of State Highway and Transportation Officials AASHTO President Larry L. "Butch" Brown equated transportation and the economy.

"No transportation, no economy. They are inseparable. We must invest to maintain and strengthen the American ‘transconomy,’” Brown said. He is also executive director of the Mississippi Department of Transportation.

AASHTO said that although more long-distance freight will move by rail in the next 20 years, 74 percent will still be carried by truck. By 2035, truck traffic on the interstates will be 22,700 trucks per day, more than double current levels.

-- Contact R.G. Edmonson at bedmonson@joc.com.