Great Northern Corridor Map
MAP

THE STUDY

A prioritized list of projects or initiatives will be developed that will enhance the corridor’s strengths, further develop multimodal opportunities, and promote seamless transportation through multiple states along the corridor.

Phase II: Planning Analysis

Phase II of the Corridor Study is a planning level analysis based on the results of the work completed in the Phase I SWOT analysis. A prioritized list of projects or initiatives are being developed that will enhance the corridor’s strengths, further develop multimodal opportunities, and promote seamless transportation through multiple states along the corridor.

The planning level analysis establishes the foundation for subsequent analysis and decision-making during project development. Projects identified will need to be further defined and prioritized. The identification of possible freight movement system initiatives will support any subsequent effort to develop projects to improve the capacity, efficiency, environmental impact, and community livability of the Corridor’s freight movement system.

The Federal Highway Administration’s Planning and Environmental Linkage approach will be used to evaluate potential environmental impacts that may be associated with identified infrastructure improvement projects.

Possible improvements will be evaluated for fatal flaws and project viability. Evaluation criteria will be aligned with Corridor goals and objectives and will be consistent with other planning and program development procedures of the State DOT partners, the regional planning agencies, and the region. The benefit of such an approach will be that recommendations of the evaluation can be easily integrated into other ongoing programs and processes.

Evaluation criteria may include:

  • Demonstrated commercial demand and need for a proposed improvement
  • Volume of freight required to ensure an improvement’s long-term economic viability
  • Engineering standards and design requirements for different types of freight infrastructure
  • Operational viability, maintenance cost coverage, efficiency, safety and security
  • Performance criteria – including reducing congestion and improving traffic flow
  • Economic development and land use benefits (e.g., jobs and supporting smart growth)
  • Environmental considerations including emissions
  • Local support and consistency with transportation plans

A summary of the steps needed to move the plan forward, including identification of the key projects, their priority, and other action items will be prepared. An action plan will be developed based on the findings and recommendations for improving the freight movement system along the Corridor and surrounding area.

Schedule

Task Start End
Task 1 Coalition Business Plan October 2015 March 2016
Task 2 Corridor Website Update October 2015 March 2016
Task 3 Stakeholder Outreach October 2015 March 2016
Task 4 SWOT Analysis Phase II October 2015 March 2016
Task 5 Project Identification December 2015 May 2016
Task 6 Findings and Recommendations May 2016 July 16 2016