I-81 Corridor Coalition
The I-81 Corridor Coalition (I-81CC) is a consortium of stakeholders dedicated to improving the safety, continuity, and efficiency of commercial and personal travel along the I-81 corridor that extends from Tennessee to the Canadian border in New York. Centered at VTTI, this partnership is comprised of state Departments of Transportation (DOTs), Metropolitan and Regional Planning Organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and private entities from the six corridor states. The primary focus of the I-81CC is to study and implement innovative solutions to address challenges specific to travel on a freight-intensive highway serving a wide variety of geopolitical regions and users. Current areas of focus include incident management, development planning, and truck parking.
I–81 is a major truck freight corridor where frequent crashes involving trucks cause lengthy periods of congestion. Previous studies have shown that driver distraction and long hours behind the wheel are root causes in many cases. The Coalition partners with regional public safety working groups to host incident management workshops that provide technical instruction about proper safety procedures and quick crash clearance.
Stategic Transportation Visioning
The Coalition intends to collect data about traffic and planning efforts related to I-81 and build a database of information relevant to the corridor.
As a first initiative, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has contracted with the Coalition to research opportunities for transportation facilities in the Appalachian region. The goal is to more fully integrate Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS) corridor segments with other regional highway, rail, and navigable waterway transportation resources. This will be accomplished in a way that increases coordination and cooperation and maximizes the social mobility of Appalachia along with its domestic and international access.
As a second initiative, the Coalition is working with the state departments of transportation (DOTs) of the states through which I-81 runs to house and maintain a central data repository for state transportation data, plans, and studies relevant to the corridor. This initiative is a direct result of the I-81 Multistate Corridor Study, a pooled-fund study led by the Virginia DOT (VDOT). This initiative began in late 2012.
An operating structure (or a procedural guideline) is currently being developed that will enable the Coalition to move forward with additional funding strategies. Other efforts include building upon the existing website and visiting public jurisdictions and private organizations involved in corridor-related initiatives to continue expanding the membership base and stabilize funding.
A large part of the interest of the Coalition is researching issues of importance in the corridor, including freight movement, intermodal relationships, environmental planning, safety, and corridor-wide information and coordination efforts. Each of these subject areas will be explored for additional funding opportunities.