The Ohio Department of Transportation recently issued a revised state freight plan called Transport Ohio that examines current statewide freight trends as well as over the next five years. The agency seeks public feedback on its updated state freight plan, with April 10 the deadline for commentary.
[Above photo by the Ohio DOT]
The Ohio DOT said it spent the last two years updating its state freight plan, particularly examining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on shopping patterns, shifting freight demand from traditional “bricks and mortar” to online ordering with home delivery.
The agency noted that the state’s freight network includes 1,330 miles of interstate, 5,000-plus miles of active freight rail lines, 736 maritime system miles, eight airports with regular cargo service and more than 110,000 miles of pipeline. This network moved over a billion tons of goods worth over $1.2 trillion in 2018.
“Freight plays a vital role in Ohio’s economy, contributing to nearly 40 percent of its gross domestic product in 2019,” noted ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks in a statement.
“While our freight system has served the state well, it must continue to adapt to evolving demands and pressures, structural trends, unmet needs and emerging opportunities,” he added. “The system also must accommodate and prepare for continued growth with more capacity in the right places.”
The Ohio DOT noted its new freight plan highlights the current and future needs of the state’s roadway, rail, air cargo, maritime and pipeline networks.
It also incorporates freight system strategies focusing on coordination, partnerships, innovation, and technology for the agency to implement over the next five years and recommends freight system investments to maintain Ohio’s leadership position in moving freight on land, air and water.