VDOT invites public comment on I-81 rail study

Staff Report
News Tips: freepress2@ntelos.net

The draft report of Virginia’s Interstate 81 Freight Rail Study was issued today for public comment by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation and the Virginia Department of Transportation.

DRPT, in cooperation with the Office of the Secretary of Transportation, was directed by the Commonwealth Transportation Board in October 2006, and later the General Assembly through the Appropriations Act of 2007, to conduct an I-81 Freight Rail Study in cooperation with VDOT’s Multimodal Office and Norfolk Southern Railway to identify short-term rail improvements and to study the potential diversion of truck traffic to rail along the I-81 corridor.

The I-81 Freight Rail Study outlines a strategic approach to maximizing the capacity of freight rail in the corridor and diverting more trucks from highways. A copy of the draft study is available online at www.drpt.virginia.gov/studies/default.aspx.

The study reviewed current and future estimated rail and truck use on I-81 and determined the number of trucks that could potentially be diverted based on several factors that influence freight shipment decisions. Of the potentially divertible trucks, the study estimates a potential truck-to-rail diversion of between 965,000 and 1.6 million truck trips per year by 2035, depending on the adopted strategy.

The study evaluates strategies based on feasibility and potential to divert truck traffic from highways to rail in the I-81 corridor. Included was the consideration of open technology in which trucks and their trailers are rolled onto trains for long haul shipments.

The I-81 corridor in Virginia includes the region defined as the Crescent Corridor. The Crescent Corridor initiative is a Norfolk Southern multi-state initiative to establish a high-speed intermodal freight rail route between the Gulf Coast and the Northeast. The Commonwealth has programmed more than $95 million to support the development of the initiative. In addition, Virginia is supporting a $300 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Program application to support new intermodal facilities, expansion of existing intermodal terminals and track improvements across the five partner states.

The action plan to maximize feasible truck-to-rail diversion is focused on rail capacity and infrastructure improvements. The study offers the following three recommendations:
– Advance the Crescent Corridor
– Investigate other potentially feasible truck to rail diversion strategies
– Continue to advance improvements identified in the I-81 Tier I Environmental Impact Statement

While the study confirms that rail has a significant role to play in providing congestion relief in the I-81 corridor, highway improvements will also be necessary to accommodate the projected 111-percent increase in truck traffic along the corridor by 2035.

The public is invited to provide comments on this draft study no later than Feb. 10, 2010, using any of the following methods:
– Send e-mail to drptpr@drpt.virginia.gov
– Write to Public Information Office, DRPT, 600 E. Main St., Suite 2102, Richmond, VA 23219
– Fax comments to 804.225.3752



UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Feedback from buyers: “Got the Book in the Mail Saturday, and could not put it down! Great read and great photography as well! Love all of the books I’ve received, but hands down, this is my favorite!” – Russell

Buy here.

augusta free press news
augusta free press news
augusta free press news