Maryland issues statewide freight plan

Written by jrood

Building upon an analysis of commodity flows in the Maryland Freight Profile, Maryland DOT developed the Maryland Statewide Freight Plan, a multi-modal and comprehensive view of the state of freight and a freight strategy including a prioritized project list and complementary policies and funding approaches. The Plan provides an in-depth overview of the State's current and long-range freight planning activities and investments and is intended as a living document that will be consistently updated with feedback from internal and external stakeholders or users and beneficiaries of the freight network to also include passenger services as well.  

As part of the freight-planning
process, a committee of internal (state and regional) stakeholders has been
identified as an Interagency Advisory Committee along with a panel of private
sector advisors identified as the Freight Stakeholder Advisory Committee. Both
groups began meeting as part of the freight plan development process but are
now meeting regularly to advise freight. Additionally, the freight plan process
included several outreach sessions to the Metropolitan Planning Regions and
Southern Maryland for local governments, businesses and citizens to provide
input to the plan.

As part of the plan, a
Freight Project Needs Inventory was drafted that included the collection of
over 200 public and private projects totally more than $35 billion in estimated
cost. The Plan also includes a component to address the continually increasing
demand for overnight truck parking. The Plan is designed to emphasize clear,
achievable capital planning and outputs that can be implemented within five-year
and 25-year planning horizons and is finalized with a list of the complementary
policies and funding mechanisms to realize the goals and to have synergy with
the Maryland Transportation Plan and other state plans in development. The plan
is complete and is available on MDOT’s website:

In 2005, the Federal
Railroad Administration completed a $1.0 million study to investigate aging
railroad tunnels in the Baltimore area. The scope of the study included an
evaluation of alternate tunnel routes for both freight and passenger service
from, to and through the Baltimore metropolitan area. To build on the initial
work, MDOT is partnering again with the FRA to utilize a $3- million earmark
included in
SAFETEA-LU to continue studies on the Baltimore Rail Bottleneck.
These additional funds would allow FRA to take their original alternates
investigation to a more detailed planning level of engineering, to investigate
additional alignments and to conduct a rigorous cost/benefit analysis and
business plan for the project. This effort will soon be under way. The
engineering portion of this study is projected to last approximately 18 months.