Three MAFC member states’ freight plans scored among the best in a recently release report from the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), “Identifying State Freight Plan Best Practices.” Freight plans from Iowa, Michigan and Ohio were among a dozen freight plans selected by ATRI as exemplary in terms of planning, assessment, and implementation practices.

The goal of this report was to provide a baseline for freight plans as well as future guidance on best practices since these freight plans will need to be updated every five years in accordance with the FAST Act.

According to the report’s authors, “A well-designed freight plan allows a state or region to accurately understand the movement of goods within the larger geographic and economic framework, and speculate on future trends…Freight plans also provide an understanding of how safe, efficient, and productive freight systems benefit local and state economies and help meet local, regional, and national goals for safety and productivity.”

ATRI received nominations for 26 states. Freight plans were evaluated on 10 criteria coming out of both the FAST Act and MAP-21 freight plan requirements.

Each of the high-scoring freight plans provide good examples of specific best practices. Iowa’s plan has an excellent multi-modal network analysis. Michigan’s plan was commended for providing a step-by-step protocol for replicating its project list development data analysis, allowing others interested in replicating the quantitative analysis to move from the initial data extraction all the way to exporting tier-sorted projects. And, Ohio’s freight plan includes a narrative discussion of how freight impacts the quality of life for its citizens, framing freight investment as an investment in prosperity and quality of life for Ohio residents.  For access to the full report, please visit

The development of Freight planning has been reliant on the sharing of knowledge and practices across the states.  Our region is fortunate to have such expertise to develop these freight planning approaches, and then share them across the region. For an earlier assessment of state freight planning across the MAASTO states, see the MAFC report: From the Ground Up – Aligning state freight plans.

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MN_State_Freight_Plan_2017MAFC member, the Minnesota Department of Transportation has received confirmation from the FHWA on their updated Statewide Freight System Plan dated November, 2017. This plan aligns with Minnesota GO and the Statewide Multimodal Transportation Plan, which establish Minnesota’s overall vision for transportation. In addition, the plan meets the freight planning requirements of the federal Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, or MAP-21, transportation legislation and aligns with the provisions of the federal Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, or FAST Act.

The plan includes a snapshot of Minnesota’s current freight system as well as a description of the state’s economy, relevant trends, and current and future issues around freight. It also includes an action agenda which outlines how the system can keep pace with the significant growth in freight tonnage expected by 2040.

One of multiple transportation plans in support of the Statewide Multimodal Transportation Plan and the Minnesota GO vision for transportation in the state, this plan was developed with the help of the public-private Minnesota Freight Advisory Committee.

The plan and a video explaining the plan development are online at the MnDOT website.

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Kentucky Freight Plan Receives Approval

December 11, 2017

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet received approval of the Kentucky Freight Plan on December 4, 2017. The Kentucky Freight Plan is a supplement to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s 2014 Long-Range Statewide Transportation Plan.  The Freight Plan was developed upon the recommendations of the federal transportation bill, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). Enacted […]

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Illinois Department of Transportation Seeks Feedback on 2017 Freight Plan

November 27, 2017

The Illinois Department of Transportation has released its 2017 Freight Plan, which outlines the state’s strategy for facilitating the successful and efficient movement of goods. Public comments will be accepted through Nov. 30.

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MAFC Releases Report Looking at the Impact of Upper Mississippi River Lock and Dam Shutdowns on State Highway Infrastructure

October 31, 2017

The Mississippi River is a critical corridor for transportation of agricultural products and, in turn, is critical to the economies of the states that utilize the river to transport these trade goods. The report assesses the total impact of lock and dam closures along the Upper Mississippi River and then demonstrates how the cost the closures, or improvements designed to mitigate their impact on the highway side, compare with the cost of improving Upper Mississippi River control structures.

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Iowa Freight Plan is Now FAST Act Compliant

August 10, 2017

Iowa DOT is the fifth state in the nation to have their FAST Act compliant State Freight Plan accepted by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The Iowa DOT’s original, MAP-21 compliant plan was amended for FAST Act and submitted to the FHWA in June. It was reviewed and accepted as including all required elements effective […]

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