Future Interstate Corridors

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Conceptual Future Interstate Corridors
78,000 mile Inter-Regional Highway System [1941]
  National Highway System High Priority Corridors
Future I-49 Corridor
Future I-69 Corridor
Future I-14 Corridor
Future I-11 Intermountain Corridor
Future I-27 Ports to Plains Corridor
Future I-87 Corridor
Future I-42 Corridor
Future I-57 [Arkansas]  
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A report titled "Future Options for the National Interstate And Defense Highways" was prepared May 2007 by PB Consult, Inc and Cambridge Systematic for the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies. The work was sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). A conclusion was that the capacity of the Interstate System needed to be increase in two parts defined as "expansion" {additional lanes and interchanged} and "extension" {extension of existing or totally new Interstate highways},

System Extent. The application of performance criteria in the context of the growth in demand and the specific functional needs of connections and continuity has indicated the need for an additional 173,000 lane miles of capacity to be added to the 210,000 lane miles of the existing Interstate System....this new capacity would be achieved in two ways:

· Expansion of the existing Interstate System, adding 88,600 lane miles within its existing 212,000 lane miles on 46,800 route miles.

· Extensions of the existing Interstate System, through upgrades of the national highway system (NHS) and related corridors, converting 15,000 route miles to the Interstate, involving an additional 84,400 lane miles.

In total, the future Interstate System would supply 385,000 total lane miles of capacity along a total system length of nearly 62,000 route miles. Accommodating the forecasted travel at the performance level used in this analysis implies the addition of about 5,760 lane miles per year.

The Interstate System was never a "fixed" system, but has evolved from its inception as the Inter-Regional System, to additions replacements of routes like I-67 into I-69, the extension of I-70 from I-25 in Denver to I-15 in Utah, and I-12 as an intercontinental bypass north of New Orleans. The Federal Aid Highway Act of 1968 added 1500 miles that created I-49 and I-22. The Federal Aid Highway act of 1988 and ISTEA 1991 planned the extension of I-49 from Shreveport to Kansas City and I-69 from Indianapolis to Texas. The new Future Interstate Study will create totally new numbered Interstates as well of extending existing Interstate. Most of these routes will follow the existing National Highway System (NHS) corridors, but will also follow non-NHS corridors to increase capacity to relieve BOTH congested urban and rural routes. The new Interstate mileage corridors may increase the Interstate system to about 15,000 miles or more. The estimated Future Interstate System may total 67,000 miles. The new routes will match similar routes suggested in the large 78,000 mile system studied in 1941 Inter-Regional System. This is not surprising since the 78,000 mile Inter-Regional network was based on interconnecting the majority of cities that were strategic to the defense of the United States as submitted by General Pershing (and his aid Dwight Eisenhower, the future President and "father" of the Interstate System.

Section 6021 of the new Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act of 2015 has commissioned the Transportation Research Board to conduct a detailed study on the actions needed to upgrade the original "Dwight D. Eisenhower" National System of Interstate and Defense Highways to meet the growing new highway demands of the 21st century. In the 2007 study, the major freight truck corridor and the truck traffic bottleneck cities are shown in the tow maps below.

The Congress decided to completely study the need improvements to the Interstate System for the 21st Century, INCLUDING upgrading National Highway System (and some non-NHS corridor were needed) to Interstate Highway standards both by extending existing Interstate or adding totally new numbered Interstates (like I-42 and I-87 in North Carolina, I-14 in Texas, I-57 in Arkansas) in the 2015 FAST Act. The Transportation Research Board suggest an additional 15,000 miles in its 2007 study:

Section 6021 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015


(a) FUTURE INTERSTATE SYSTEM STUDY.—Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall enter into an agreement with the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies to conduct a study on the actions needed to upgrade and restore the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways to its role as a premier system that meets the growing and shifting demands of the 21st century.

(b) METHODOLOGIES.—In conducting the study, the Transportation Research Board shall build on the methodologies examined and recommended in the report prepared for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials titled ‘‘National Cooperative Highway Research Program Project 20–24(79): Specifications for a National Study of the Future 3R, 4R, and Capacity Needs of the Interstate System’’, dated December 2013.

(c) CONTENTS OF STUDY.—The study— (1) shall include specific recommendations regarding the features, standards, capacity needs, application of technologies, and intergovernmental roles to upgrade the Interstate System, including any revisions to law (including regulations) that the Transportation Research Board determines appropriate; and (2) is encouraged to build on the institutional knowledge in the highway industry in applying the techniques involved in implementing the study.

(d) CONSIDERATIONS.—In carrying out the study, the Transportation Research Board shall determine the need for reconstruction and improvement of the Interstate System by considering—(1) future demands on transportation infrastructure determined for national planning purposes, including commercial and private traffic flows to serve future economic activity and growth; (2) the expected condition of the current Interstate System over the period of 50 years beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, including long term deterioration and reconstruction needs; (3) features that would take advantage of technological capabilities to address modern standards of construction, maintenance, and operations, for purposes of safety, and system management, taking into further consideration system performance and cost;(4) those National Highway System routes that should be added to the existing Interstate System to more efficiently serve national traffic flows; and (5) the resources necessary to maintain and improve the Interstate System, including the resources required to upgrade the National Highway System routes identified in paragraph (4) to Interstate standards.

(e) CONSULTATION.—In carrying out the study, the Transportation Research Board— (1) shall convene and consult with a panel of national experts, including operators and users of the Interstate System and private sector stakeholders; and (2) is encouraged to consult with—

(A) the Federal Highway Administration;

(B) States;

(C) planning agencies at the metropolitan, State, and regional levels;

(D) the motor carrier industry;

(E) freight shippers;

(F) highway safety groups; and

(G) other appropriate entities.

(f) REPORT.—Not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Transportation Research Board shall submit to the Secretary, the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate, and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives a report on the results of the study conducted under this section.

(g) FUNDING.—From amounts authorized to carry out the Highway Research and Development Program, the Secretary shall use to carry out this section not more than $5,000,000 for fiscal year 2016.

The Transportation Research Board will investigage new Interstate corridor ranging from the existing Interstate Corridors created by Congress since 1991, and new Interstate freeway upgrades of existing US Routes in the National Highway System. All of these new corridors will be created as alternate relief routes to existing high traffic Interstate highway, to increase the capacity of NHS routes that have increased traffic, and in some cases, to provide new economic trade corridors. Many of these corridors have be recognized as vital since the 1941 study of a 78,000 mile interstate highway system that was the basis for the 45,000 mile system approved in the 1957 Interstate Higway System. The new study will propose totally new Interstate Corridors along non-NHS corridors which are needed to relieve traffic bottlenecks that are growing in the existing Interstate System.

Proposed Interstate Corridors:

  1. Interstate 18 (Acadian Xpressway System): New Orleans Louisiana to Dallas Texas via Lafayette Louisiana. System includes branches to Baton Rouge (I-418, I-318) and Port Fourchon (I-518). I-18 is the alternate to I-45 and I-10 from Dallas, Houston, Baton Rouge, New Orleans. I-18 is an intermodal route serving the Ports Baton Rouge, Port of South Louisiana along the Mississippi River, and the Port of New Orleans.
  2. Interstate 53 (Acadian Xpressway System): Lake Charles Louisiana to Little Rock Arkansas via Alexandria and Monroe. I-53 generally follows US 165 from I-10 Lake Charles to Monroe. I-53 then generally follows U.S. 425 to Monticello, AR 530 to Pine Bluff Arkansas, and I-530 to Little Rock Arkansas. Based on the "I-69 Connector" created in 1991 ISTEA and "I-69 Connector Extension" studied by ArDOT and LaDOT in 2009.
  3. Interstate 66: Washington D.C. to Dayton Ohio. Starting at the existing I-66/I-81 interchange in Virginia, I-66 follows the new US 48/US 33 Corridor H to US 35 in southeastern West Virginia. U.S. 35 is converted to I-66 from the Ohio River to I-70 west of Dayton Ohio. A second route for I-66 could follow U.S. 50 across West Virginia to Parkersburg then across the Ohio River, again generally following U.S. 50 to its intersection with U.S. 35 east of Chilichothe Ohio. This route provides an alternate route to I-70 to Washington D.C.
  4. Interstate 68: Extend I-68 west from the current I-79/I-68 terminus in Morgantown West Virginia to Moundville West Virginia. I-68 generally follows WV 2 to Parkersburg, then U.S. 50 Corridor D to Athens, and finally OH 32 Corridor D to Cincinnati, terminating at the existing I-275/OH 32 interchange as part of the Eastern Corridor project.
  5. Interstate 50, Interstate 60, Interstate 70 (Trans America Corridor): Norfolk Virginia to Sacremento California. Based on the cancelled "I-66" Trans America Corridor created in the 1991 ISTEA through Kentucky, Interstate 50 generally follows U.S. 460 from Norfolk Virginia to U.S. 23 in Kentucky. I-50 then uses the Louis B. Nunn Parkway that was designated as "I-66 Southern Kentucky Corridor" in 1991 ISTEA. I-50 follows U.S. 60 through Missouri to I-44 in Springfield Missouri. The next segment is Interstate 60 the generally follows U.S. 400 Wichita Kansas, then U.S. 50 to Pueblo and Grand Junction Colorado. Interstate 70 is extended west of I-15 in Utah, generally following U.S. 50 through Utah and Nevada to Sacremento California, providing an alternate to I-80.
  6. Interstate 73: I-26 Kingsport Tennesee to I-75 Grayling Michigan via Dayton Ohio and Jackson Michigan. I-73 is generally the conversion of U.S. 23 Corridor B from the I-26/I-81 interchange in Kingsport Tennesee to I-64 west of Huntington West Virginia. I-73 then generally follows U.S. 52 to Portsmouth Ohio, the generally follows OH 73 to Hillsboro and Wilmington Ohio. I-73 may intersect I-75 south of Springboro, then proceeds north, generally following U.S. 127 to Van Wert Ohio and Jackson Michigan. U.S. 127 would be converted to I-73 to I-75 in Grayling Michigan.
  7. Interstate 62: Kenova Virginia to Bluefield West Virginia. I-62 is the new interstate designation for the planned US 52 King Coal/TOLSIA Highway designated as I-73/I-74 designation in ISTEA 1991. I-62 runs concurrent with I-73 in the Huntington West Virginia area terminates at I-77 in Bluefield West Virginia. Virginia cancelled plans to build I-73 through Virginia, and it would be reasonable to change the existing I-74 designation in North Carolina to I-46 from I-77 to Wilmington North Carolina. Another option is to change the I-73 designation in North Carolina and South Carolina to I-79, where the existing I-79 runs concurrent with I-77 to the current I-77/I-74 interchage, and changing the I-74 from I-77 to the existing I-73/I-74 to I-79 to the planned terminus in Myrtle Beach South Carolina.

Future I-50/I-60/I-70 Trans America Corridor
Future I-18/I-53 Acadian Xpressway System
Future I-66 Corridor H, Future I-68 Corridor D/Corridor E
Future I-73 Corridor B, Future I-62 King Coal Highway
Future I-14 Corridor
Future I-76 Corridor, Future I-72 Corridor
Future I-49 Corridor
Future I-69 Corridor