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Talking Freight

Freight Corridor Programs

March 18, 2009 Talking Freight Transcript

Opening:
Good afternoon or good morning to those of you to the West. Welcome to the Talking Freight Seminar Series. My name is Laura Feast and I will moderate today's seminar. Today's topic is Freight Corridor Programs. Please be advised that today's seminar is being recorded.

Today we'll have three presentations, given by James Clarkin of Transport Canada, Tony Furst of the Federal Highway Administration Office of Freight Management and Operations, and Juan Jose Erazo Garcia Cano of Secretaria De Comunicaciones Y Transportes (SCT).

James Clarkin is the Manager for the Western Division of Transport Canada's, Highway and Borders group that manages federal funding programs in the four Western provinces and the northern Territories. His team consists of a dozen Transportation Engineers and Environmental Specialists, focused on managing federal contributions to transportation infrastructure projects that are undertaken by provincial, municipal or private sector partners. Much of the Team's efforts now focus on projects that support the nearly 40 projects being advanced that support the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative. James is a Professional Engineer and a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and has found a niche combining the two worlds of infrastructure and finance in his role with Transport Canada.

Tony Furst is Director of the FHWA Office of Freight Management and Operations. He directs a multi-level staff, which develops freight policy for the Federal Highway Administration; provides data analysis and decision-support tools for transportation professionals evaluating freight projects; develops and promulgates professional capacity building programs and training for freight professionals; provides the truck size and weight program guidance and interpretation; and evaluates and promotes freight technology development for national and international deployment. Prior to joining the FHWA, Tony held a range of positions in the Department of Transportation with the Maritime Administration as a program coordinator, the Office of the Secretary of Transportation's Office of Intermodalism as a regional coordinator for intermodal projects in the Northeastern States and California, and the Transportation Security Administration as the Branch Chief of the Maritime Infrastructure Security Branch in the Maritime and Land Security Directorate.

Juan Jose Erazo Garcia Cano has 16 years experience working at the Secretaria de Communicationes y Transportes (SCT). Between 1992 and 2003, Juan Jose Erazo worked in the General Planning Coordination of SCT, in charge of different positions as the Director of Analytical Programming, Director of Regional Planning, Coordinator of Advisers and Coordinator of Special Projects for the General Planning Coordinator. Since 2004, he has been in charge of Intermodal and Border Projects. In this role he leads and manages different projects related to the development of the highway transportation infrastructure in the United States-Mexico border. Currently he is managing and developing the "North East Infrastructure Package" with an estimated cost of 3 billion of dollars, that includes the new construction of highways, rails and international bridges, improvements of existing conditions, as well as the implementation of an ITS system for a entire region. In addition he is planning projects along the entire border region that includes negotiation with the US and Mexico border states and other federal agencies. He is also on charge of other different studies to identify and search correctness of Bottlenecks in different strategic transportation corridors, as well as the analysis of connectivity from the motor highway corridor with other modes of transportation such as Maritime ports, Ports of Entries, Airports and Intermodal Terminals.

I'd now like to go over a few logistical details prior to starting the seminar. Today's seminar will last 90 minutes, with 60 minutes allocated for the speakers, and the final 30 minutes for audience Question and Answer. If during the presentations you think of a question, you can type it into the smaller text box underneath the chat area on the lower right side of your screen. Please make sure you are typing in the thin text box and not the large white area. Please also make sure you send your question to "Everyone" and indicate which presenter your question is for. Presenters will be unable to answer your questions during their presentations, but I will start off the question and answer session with the questions typed into the chat box. Once we get through all of the questions that have been typed in, the Operator will give you instructions on how to ask a question over the phone. If you think of a question after the seminar, you can send it to the presenters directly, or I encourage you to use the Freight Planning LISTSERV. The LISTSERV is an email list and is a great forum for the distribution of information and a place where you can post questions to find out what other subscribers have learned in the area of Freight Planning. If you have not already joined the LISTSERV, the web address at which you can register is provided on the slide on your screen.

Finally, I would like to remind you that this session is being recorded. A file containing the audio and the visual portion of this seminar will be posted to the Talking Freight Web site within the next week. We encourage you to direct others in your office that may have not been able to attend this seminar to access the recorded seminar.

The PowerPoint presentations used during the seminar are available for download from the file download box in the lower right corner of your screen. The presentations will also be available online within the next week. I will notify all attendees of the availability of the PowerPoints, the recording, and a transcript of this seminar.

We're now going to go ahead and get started. Today's topic, for those of you who just joined us, is Freight Corridor Programs. Our first presentation will be given by James Clarkin of Transport Canada. As a reminder, if you have questions during the presentation please type them into the chat box and they will be answered in the last 30 minutes of the seminar.

James Clarkin:
Thank you. Most appreciated. Thank you for giving transport Canada the opportunity to come and speak. Gateways are a big initiative right now. What we've titled the discussion is Canada's Gateways. We'll need to give you background on the Canadian system and programs, and then we will jump into how we're dealing with our Gateway programs.

I guess I can't ask you folks, I hope my tone is okay and you can hear. I would like to talk about the mandate of transport Canada, and why we're involved in the Gateway initiative. Then, I want to explain the national highway system, and how we deliver funding. Also, I want to discuss the Gateways we're considering. The main focus is on the corridor initiative that transport Canada is pushing.

Transport Canada's mission is posted on the screen. Similar to the United States, we do not own the highways. Though we have a mandate to support the system, we are not the owners and are not the proponents. There's been extensive history of federal funding of highway projects with a number of different agreements and different mechanisms. The question is how do we deliver that? One of the initiatives that has come to our forefront is we have is the national highway system. It was developed by Canada because we do not have control over what we call the TransCanada highway. The designating of the TransCanada highway is done by the provicences. The national highway system is a network of highways across the country that basically are the key connectors for major centers, border points, key connections with ports and other areas for trade and mobility. I'm showing a brief map here. The main focus are highway 16 and along highway 1 into the heartland and the central area.

The national highway system is designated by the provinces and the federal government. We have our core routes, which are the major connectors, and we have feeder routes which are smaller more regional roads that connect to the core. The northern and remote routes do not service the volume of trade or travel. Of the national highway system, routes the make up about 38,000-kilometers. That's about 3% of our total highways, but it carries about 30% of the traffic volume. This gives a good idea of how important the national highway system is to the country. It's given us a good direct avenue to provide funding; we can direct our funding towards national highway projects when necessary. That's background on our setup.

Now, the current initiative is the building Canada plan. It's our largest investment we've ever launched here, $33 billion over the next 7 years. Funding programs vary from directed to flexible. Over the past years from the provinces we've been hearing they need a more sustainable base funding amount that they can keep up with the regular infrastructure needs. There's been a number of funds established that provide that flexibility every year broken down per jurisdiction. They can then use that money for their priorities. The building Canada fund focuses on major infrastructure that is strategic to Canada; it covers waste water and transportation, transit, broadband. We move on to where we have very directed funding, this is where the Gateway funds are coming in. Now we've added the Gateway and border crossing fund, which will go to support the Atlantic Gateway and the Continental Gateway.

I will move on here. I just have a quick slide showing the Gateways and the Gateway concept. We don't take full credit for everything here. There's been a lot of work done around the globe looking at the Gateway concept. The main way to think of the Gateway is the supply chain. It's not about thinking about how to fix the highway - it is how you fix the highway and the rail and port so that holistically everything is functioning. On the left-hand side you see the Asia Pacific Gateway; that is what we're going to focus on later. The newer initiatives and other Gateways, of course, which will be a good deal of the work under the Continental Gateway is improving the Windsor/Detroit crossing.

I would like to speak about the Asia Pacific Gateway. That's where we will get into more of the presentation. It's a $1 billion initiative to strengthen the Gateway. I believe it's above 95% going into the hard infrastructure. That is located along our two main corridors that lead to the two western ports. Sorry, I should back you up a little bit. You can see here Vancouver and Prince Rupert. The highway 1 and highway 16 corridors both road and rail are the focuses of the Asia Pacific Gateway. The other part is the non-infrastructure side. It's designed to gauge stakeholders to talk to shippers and ports to get the word out overseas on what the Asia Pacific Gateway is, how we're improving it, how we're making things better for shippers. It's also to develop and foster cooperation with different partners along the route. We're trying to get everyone involved. One of the biggest things is to identify issues and solutions to current problems. We are glad to elaborate on the non-infrastructure side. I think we could do a presentation on that subject ten times over. A number of my colleagues have been touring the globe giving discussions on Asia Pacific. You may have had a speech from our team. We would be willing to provide more information on that initiative if you wish.

I would like to talk about the infrastructure side. We have $1 billion for infrastructure. It's one of our bigger programs. We went out to see what we could do to make the two key networks better. Through a number of studies we identified who the likely proponents were. We went out for a call for proposals. We established eligibility criteria that were approved by the federal treasury board. Those became the rules of the program. We had an initial screening to make sure there wasn't anything that did not fit, that way we could screen out proposals and not waste time if it did not fit. We had a full proposal submission, that was reviewed by a mixed team of experts here, both technical and policy folks, as well as Regional expertise. We had a good group that brought different things to the understanding of the Gateway. The projects were evaluated on a number of criteria, including how the project supported the Gateway, benefit/cost argument, and the project had to remove a bottle neck along that Gateway of the supply chain, also looking to leverage projects. We wanted to see – Canada provides 50% funding contribution. When proponents were looking for less than 50% than that we saw that as favorable. From the evaluation of these proposals, I believe we had 20 to 25 submitted, we submitted a recommendation to the minister. The first announcements came in May of 2007; I will flip you ahead to show you where we're at. Might be a little tough to read, but it gives an indication that we have awarded about 40 projects. The reason it totals that way is because we count some of the programs as multiple individual projects. We have a number of projects that are on the highway 16 corridor. And we have a number of projects, as well in the lower mainland of BC. We were able to get a good mix of projects. Some are big, some are small. We have projects in the hundreds of millions. We have a few less than one million dollars as well. We also have a number of small projects, rail projects, port work, a number of highway projects. One thing we're excited about is short sea shipping initiatives. We have a number of inland water ways in the Lower Mainland of BC. When the container ships come to the dock we're looking to see instead of taking the containers off and driving them into the rail yards to instead ship them on barges. It gets the containers off of the roads and it's a little more green. We're funding a few of those projects, as well.

I know I'm running tight on time. I will get into some of the projects. The first is the rail corridor. On the far left-hand side is Robert's Bank. This initiative brought together a number of groups to see how to improve this line. They looked at how to do grade separations along the line to make it more workable for the cross traffic and also to then allow for longer train traffic. There are 12 partners involved. A good example of how going out there with this focused initiative was able to bring a real big group together to attack one major bottle neck of the whole system.

Now the South Fraser Perimeter Road. This initiative is a new road. It will provide a connection to the highway system and also to a bridge being built in Vancouver. This is our biggest project. It's over a billion dollars, this project. There are a number of challenges going through this area. There are a number of sensitive lands. It should provide a much needed road connection between the ports and the highway system. Right now you are traveling on arterial streets and this will provide free flow.

How do we deliver these things? We are not the owners, recipients or proponents. Our partners build the projects and are responsible for the projects. Up front, Canada commits to funding. We have to stay capped at a set amount. We enter into a contribution agreement. We work with the recipients to manage the agreement. We also work with guiding the recipients through the process. At the end we do an evaluation for the projects.

When we do the evaluation, we look at is a retrospective evaluation to see if the outcomes were achieved. We look at accident stats and as much as possible trade values. Trade values are difficult to look at on a smaller scale. We think we'll have much better luck at looking at trade benefits when we look at the larger level evaluation. We try to do these evaluations a couple of years after the projects are completed, ensuring enough time for the network to mature. Often it's difficult to do that because of contractual arrangements. If we can go a long way to give the networks and the projects time to mature and take effect, then we'll get a better look at how things have behaved. We will have a program evaluation to see was it the right thing to do? Was it efficient? We will talk with the stakeholders, we get out there and talk to people and find out what is working and what is not. Are we spending our money well? Is this a good initiative? We will also look at a number of indicators that we have developed and attempt to make a number of measurements through surveys and such.

That brings me to the conclusion of my presentation. I hope I given you a good overview of what our initiatives are right now. There's lots of excitement for Canada. We feel it's a great way to direct policy initiatives and outcomes. We also think we're tackling some real bottle necks. I will open – I believe we're having questions at the end. I will now turn it back to Laura.

Laura Feast:
Thank you James and thank you to those of you who posted questions. We'll address your questions at the end of the seminar. We'll now move on to Tony Furst of the FHWA Office of Freight Management and Operations.

Tony Furst:
Good afternoon. I want to thank you all for signing on. What I will talk about is not a corridor program; it's the analysis we put into place to take a look at corridors.

Even in the 2000 version of the Freight Analysis Framework (FAF), I'm sure a lot of you could identify the key trunk lines that were apparent. Since then, there's been an increased focus on freight. It's received a lot of attention. In SAFETEA-LU, it was evident in a number of programs - Projects of National and Regional Significance, National Corridor Infrastructure Improvement, Truck Parking, Freight Professional Development and the National Cooperative Freight Research Program. They were all put in place and the PNRS final rule was published on the 22nd of October, 2008.

GAO went back through a lot of their prior work and distilled these key principals. All of these need to be considered. It's the first I will focus on; a focused and clearly defined federal role and national interest. When you think about federal role you look to the Constitution and interstate commerce presents itself. That focus has played itself out in many of the proposals being advanced for the next surface transportation bill. Since then ATA, AASHTO, AAPA and ARTBA have all advanced or endorsed a freight program and corridors on the national network.

As we thought about interstate commerce, we broke it down into two pieces: connectivity and corridors. Both are keys to this discussion. This slide represents the connectivity piece of the puzzle. The red is the interstate which is included in the national network. The national network is the network on which trucks 102" wide with trailers 48' long must be allowed to move. Green is the national network that is not part of the National Highway System. The states were left to their own discretion about how much roadway they wanted to put on the national network. Many of the states decided to put a great deal, many of the other states had the other perspective. The gray is the National Highway System that is not part of the national network. The purpose of this is slide is to demonstrate we currently have a number of different ways of defining the system. The point is we've gotten to the place where we need to harmonize a number of these diverse systems to get them into focus as we move forward.

This slide, this map, represents freight flows by mode in 2002. It's based on tonnage. That big red flow in the center of the country is the Powder River coal. When you look at it you will see a number of parallel routes that are highway and rail; Southern California to Salt Lake City is an example. We need to think about corridors from a multimodal perspective.

These are the metro regions in the United States, which are areas of large population centers that hold a lot of the population of the United States.

The red dots are the freight bottlenecks which were identified by research done for FHWA. As you can see, the freight flows connect all of the major metropolitan hubs with each other and with all the major land and sea gateway points; they provide the conduit between them.

We looked to connect all of the metro regions that in 2000 had populations of a million or more and all the land or sea gateways that moved more than a million short tons or a million TEU. We looked at tonnage flows and set the break point at 50 million tons a year. What you see is the rail, highway, water routes that move that much tonnage. Brown is rail and highway together. We converted the highway tonnage into truck trips, 50 Million tons a year is 8500 truck trips a day. You can see all of the connections.

We took all of the analysis on the prior slide and on this one connected all the corridors we could with one day's (10 hours) travel time. This represents about 25,000 miles on the Interstate system. It's the minimum set of corridors necessary to connect all of the population centers over one million people with all the land or sea gateways that move more than a million short tons or a million TEU per year. This is one way to look at corridors; it's not the official USDOT position. It's a way to take a look how we could define corridors when the discussion gets to that point.

This is another way to look at it. We took the annual average daily truck traffic (AADTT) and then compared that to the annual average daily traffic (AADT). What you see here are the break points between 10,000 AADTT and 25% trucks in the traffic stream. The thin lines are less than 10,000 AADTT and where trucks represent less than 25% of the overall traffic stream. The orange are greater than 10,000 AADTT and less than 25% of the overall stream. You will see most of the orange is in or around the large metropolitan areas. The red lines are more than 10,000 AADTT and trucks are more than 25% of the traffic stream. It gives you a way to think about where we can evaluate solution sets and how to think about going forward and alleviating the congestion.

Not all corridors are created equally. We took three that all have comparable tonnage and volume flows and dug down into the length of the truck trips. What you see is a very different dynamic. If you look up in the upper Midwest you see the vast majority of the trip lengths are less than a hundred miles. If you look down along the Mexican border you see the vast majority of truck trips are more than 500 miles. There's the potential to work a parallel rail line there. When you get up to I-40 it's a mixed bag, there are potentially different solution sets there. There are a number of ways to look at the network, you need to understand the dynamics on the ground before you start thinking about potential solution sets to solve the problem.

We can tease out individual or groups of commodities in the freight flows. We did this for the Department of Agriculture. We can do this for all of the different commodities we have. You can see how different economic sectors are using the transportation network, and where we could place changes or improvements into the system to help move the goods across the system.

These are the corridors of the future. Once you start thinking about the corridors and the framework we have in the United States you need to start thinking about multi-jurisdictional coalitions, and ways to enable multi-jurisdictional decision making to take place so a number of states can think in terms of corridors. The I-70 corridor is considering dedicated truck lanes. Those four states have signed an agreement and an MOU about how they will work toward putting into place a dedicated truck lane system if their current research proposal determines that the dedicated truck lanes in that corridor are economically feasible, and how they would go about allocating funds from a multi-jurisdictional perspective. This is the next step. Once we identify corridors then we need to think about the arrangements that enable them to go forward.

The last slide is we thought about passenger movement, as well as freight. We overlaid the high speed passenger rail corridors that were developed by the Federal Railroad Administration. They look like a tight fit with the freight corridors in many areas. A number of the corridors are major freight, but they're also potentially major passenger corridors. If you sync up passenger movement with rail movement you could see significantly improved freight flows once you have pulled passenger rail off freight rail. This is the result of a lot of analysis we've been doing thinking about corridors. We will see what happens in the next reauthorization bill.

Special thanks to two guys, Rolf Schmitt and Michael Sprung, for a lot of the analytic heavy lifting. With that I will conclude and turn it over.

Laura Feast:
Unfortunately Juan Jose is not able to join us so Manny Cuan will walk us through his presentation. Let me just give you all a quick overview of Manny's biography. In April 2008, Manny was given an opportunity to work at the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation of the United Mexican States (SCT) as Deputy Director for International and Interagency Issues. Some of his duties include: intervening in international negotiations of border infrastructure in bridges and border crossings in coordination with diverse agencies, companies, organizations, federal, state, and municipal institutions. Prior to joining the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation, Manny joined Smith, Watts& Company to serve as Executive Vice President of Transportation Consulting and he also serves as a political appointee in the Bush Administration at the USDOT.

Manny Cuan:
Thanks for the introduction. First of all, my apologies on behave of Juan Jose Erazo Garcia Cano, he wanted to be here with all of you, but he got pulled out for another meeting at "Los Pinos". As you now, we have a new Secretary of Transportation in Mexico, things are moving fast and Juan Jose was scheduled update the new Secretary on Border Transportation Projects.

I will start the presentation "Freight Corridor Programs in Mexico" . I will give a quick introduction on where Mexico stands, and then I will give you a three-step strategy for planning and programming in Mexico.

The North American region has an important strategy at world level. It generates over $17 trillion. For the last 25 years the average percentage of growth is 6%. 74% of Mexico's international commerce is with the United States. It is important to make the border more security which providing programs to expedite the process. In the CTP program nearly 300 exporters register, 41% of the exporters have done this job. For the 500 certified companies that registered for the fast program, 40% of imports and 71% of exports. We have so far 165,000 users registered, 7% of transport is covered by this program.

As I mentioned earlier, here are the three-step strategy. The first is the development of a strategic corridor, then strengthen regional competitiveness, and then develop border infrastructure. We need to know the connectivity between the US and Mexico as a whole. Of course, we need to do this while keeping in mind the secure and efficient operations at the border.

We will start with the development of a strategic corridor by including the Integration of strategic corridors with sea ports, borders and important cities.

On this slide, you can see our main highway corridors that include seaports and ports of entry.

The next slide shows the projection for year 2020 regarding the movement of truck traffic between Mexico and the USA. We were able to merge US data from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and our agency, so you can have a better visual display on where the truck traffic is moving to and from. In other words, the density of truck traffic on specific routes.

According to the 2006 World Economic Forum, this slide is an example of how is the quality of highway infrastructure in Mexico. Mexico is rated 49 compared with other countries. However, we are rated with a 3.8 in which the average rate is 3.7.

This slide shows exports between Mexico and China to the United States. We were competing with China up to year 2001. Then, China took off rapidly and left Mexico behind.

Here's is the situation in year 2006 for our main highway corridors. Then, within those corridors, we show their annual average daily traffic. We needed to make sure that we take an inventory on what we have in our corridors and this is our analysis of the traffic.

The second part of the presentation is to strengthen regional competitiveness. The next 3 slides show the vision for year 2010. The first one with the intra-regional corridors in Mexico. Then, our principal projects for intra-regional corridors, and last, the secondary and interregional corridors. This last slide shows how we connected all intra-regional, secondary and interregional corridors.

Last part of the presentation, will cover the development of border infrastructure.

The strategy to modernize the existing border crossings has 2 directions. The first one is the modernization of existing ports. We want to widen the infrastructure, add express lanes and modernize access and implement applications and technologies. The second one, we need to build new ports with public and private investment. As an example, the last project that Mexico and the USA did for an international rail crossing was over a hundred years ago; now, on this occasion this will be our first project with public and private investment to be done.

This slide will show you the daily average wait time in selected ports of entry in Mexico and Canada, as you can see with the purple bars for years 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 Canada lowered their wait times. What happened to Mexico? The wait times got even worse. We think that a major factor was caused by the terrorisms attacks in September 11th. However, we need to learn from the Canadian border on how to make it easier and faster to cross the border area.

Here's an example of the daily average wait time at some ports in Mexico. As you can see all of them have gone up as the year's progresses.

The next slide gives you an idea the inspection range between years 2002 to 2006 by "CBP" by different modes of transportation. As you can see, the maritime inspection (green line) is very constant. So does the Motor carriers (red line) inspections. However, the rail inspection (blue line) has gone from 20% to 80%, which is a little bit too much time wasted.

In regards to the region, this slide will give you an idea of the percentage on selected ports of entry the millions of tons that cross our border.

The next slide shows you why it was determined by our agency to constraint on the focus points. It's analyzed by the millions of tons crossed. We broke those areas into eight different regions. They are listed on the right-hand side of the slide. The reason we chose to do it by region is to include any port of entry in that specific area. For example, most of you know there's a set of bridges in Reynosa, Tamaulipas (border with McAllen, Texas), we analyze those bridges as a system of bridges and not a single port of entry (per bridge). We wanted to make sure that the system works and the entire traffic (pedestrian, private and commercial vehicles) flows smoothly and efficiently.

This next slide gives you the annual average daily truck traffic at those eight principal regions. As you have seen, we will go over the maximum capacity for those ports in no time.

This slide shows the percentage of saturations at eight principal commercial ports.

This slide is the example I mentioned earlier in regards to the system of bridges. We want to make sure that every bridge is connected, it's our duty and job to make sure that the flow goes secure and smoothly through those areas.

With that I think I am completed the presentation. I'm sure there are quite a few questions, I'll be glad to answer any of those questions you might have. Thank you.

Laura Feast:
Thank you Manny

I'd now like to start off the Q&A session with the questions posted online. Once we get through those questions, if time allows I'll open up the phone lines for questions.

Quickly, I will show a slide for Tony.

Tony Furst:
What I did, while Laura is putting this up, we took a look at the slides that Canada and Mexico gave us and put together one slide that shows all of the corridors in the three nations. That's what will be up on the slide as we go through the questions. There we go.

Q&A

Start with the questions.

We will start with questions for Manny. The first one I see here for Manny, are the average daily wait times are border crossings between nations?

Manny Cuan:
The border wait time study we found is just at the border, not traveling through the corridors.

Laura Feast:
We have a question here for you, James. What role has the greater Vancouver Gateway council played?

James Clarkin:
We see the council as a major stakeholder. There have been a number of roundtables, and working sessions with academics and experts on the matter. They've always been heavily involved. We think dealing with a lot of the local groups is necessary to ensure that you're taking the right approach.

Laura Feast:
Okay, James. We'll stick with you while we have your attention. Let me go back up here to some more questions for you at the top. Okay. Do your route numbers go cross country like interstates? Or are they unique to provinces?

James Clarkin:
Unfortunately they don't. No, we wish it. But it's provincial jurisdiction.

Laura Feast:
Are the recipients much like DBOM contracts with the responsibilities of overruns?

James Clarkin:
The reason is we don't get involved in the design. We also don't deal with the day-to-day construction issues and project management. It would be a redundant function for us. To mitigate cost overruns for the government we don't feel we can open ourselves up to covering that. We pass that on the partners.

Laura Feast:
Thank you. Could you describe the primary corridors used to connect the lower US 48 state to Alaska, for both rail and highways?

James Clarkin:
Sure. I don't know, to be frank, if the rail is north – the highway network, highway 97 it connects through Yukon and into Alaska. Canada receives funding from the United States for work on the highway through the Shakwak agreement. That is the main road connection.

Laura Feast:
Sometimes we work with the U.S. shippers that want to access the Asia Pacific corridor, does funding exist or is this mostly the role of provinces? Where does the authority reside to change truck size and weight?

James Clarkin:
Sure. I wanted to give background on how we deliver programs. We have programs that are directed to non-national highway system. We have a number of smaller local road improvements in industrial areas that are funded. We do fund them. The second question about truck sizes, that is a provincial decision. We play a role to try and gather consensus on that issue.

Laura Feast:
I saw another one for you. How far into Canada does the high speed rail corridor along I-5 extend?

James Clarkin:
I don't know that. Tony?

Tony Furst:
Those do not exist. Those are areas where FRA said they should be most likely placed. We don't have any high speed rail corridors in the United States, along the lines of the bullet trains in Japan and Europe.

Laura Feast:
Questions for Tony- What year was the major truck route legend published?

Tony Furst:
Most of the maps we have came out of the 2002 Commodity Flow Survey (CFS). The 2007 CFS was recently completed and we anticipate getting the data in the latter part of 2009. We'll have FAF3 available sometime in the spring or summer of 2010. All of the maps are on our website. Most of them were generated in the 2004-2005 timeframe.

Laura Feast:
Will an effort be made to formulate a list of projects with national significance prior to the next transportation reauthorization?

Tony Furst:
That is a very interesting question. We do not have any direction from Congress or the Administration to publish a solicitation. There is the regulatory framework currently in place that is ready and go. We stand ready to do that.

Laura Feast:
For USA corridors do we have goals for mode split of freight (rail vs. highway. vs. water) and also for highway (passenger car/truck)

Tony Furst:
A goal for mode split? No, I think where the conversation is going is performance measures. AASHTO is talking about measures and if you look at what GAO has put out regarding performance measures I think there's a desire to establish performance measures for the system. I would imagine we would let them drive the appropriate investment opportunities, depending on the targets.

Laura Feast:
On your corridors of the future slide what is the designation for the Indiana to Texas?

Tony Furst:
That is the I-69 corridor. A number of segments of I-69 are built; most are not. Some of the segments have gone through the environmental review process, some have not. The alignment is not completely defined for all of the segments. A lot of it is waiting on funding. The I-69 got money to take a look at a proposal to try to determine innovative financing mechanisms for I-69 that will enable them to move forward with funding or financing the remaining segments. They're working through details right now.

Laura Feast:
Okay. This is another one for you. Talking about the national region corridor significance; could you advocate funding?

Tony Furst:
Whether or not projects of significance are part of the next reauthorization bill remains to be seen. That's a function of the different types of bills that are working their way through Congress or to Congress. The corridors of the future, keep in mind, it wasn't to define only the corridors that the department would be interested in going forward. We had 38 proposals come to us; the six that were selected were the six best. Are those necessarily the ones that the department would have chosen? Some yes, some no. All of those were individual states and groups of states that came to us and offered to come together in an agreement to think about a corridor in a multi-jurisdictional framework. A number of the corridor groups have aggressively pursued multi-jurisdictional thinking, they take off their state hat and put on a corridor hat and think beyond the boundaries of their state.

Laura Feast:
Okay. I think we do have another question for Manny. The border-crossing freight volume in Imerial County POEs has been increasing faster than San Diego County POEs. Is this mainly caused by border delay or changes in land use patterns on Mexican side?

Manny Cuan:
That's why we're proposing to have a new port of entry in the California area, which will help to alleviate the truck traffic for that area. In this point we're in the process of sending the solicitation to consultants to help us to develop it. The state of California is interested in that. We're working closely with Caltrans.

Laura Feast:
Okay. Thank you. I do want to quickly mention I will upload Tony's map. A couple of you have asked. I will upload the file to the webinar once it's over. I also just wanted to make a brief mention about the FHWA freight peer to peer program.

I do have one question now.

Caller:
Yes, a question for Tony. There's a gap between Reno and Salt Lake City.

Tony Furst:
The volumes of cargo were not sufficient to have a corridor between those cities. All of this is data driven. We looked at where the cargo was moving and the volumes and tonnages and used that to drive where the corridors were. These are notional corridors, again. It's one way to use data to help define where the national interest may be.

Laura Feast:
If you have any questions regarding the data you can get a hold of us. I'm sure there's contact information at Talking Freight. We're happy to walk you through the data we have.

Another question:

Caller:
Hi. This is for all three of the presenters. The question is other than the border coordination is any plans at the North American level to coordinate planning for freight corridors?

Tony Furst:
I will take the first crack at that. I think what we can do after we've figured out what the major corridors are is look at where those corridor systems connect and potentially focus our attention at those areas. I'm not aware of any initiative underway to coordinate planning efforts.

James Clarkin:
Nor am I aware of a major initiative like that.

Manny Cuan:
This is Manny; I would like to make a comment, if I may.

Mexico is committed to fulfill at least six border infrastructure projects for this administration; however we are very interested in providing most information in regards to trade corridors that connect to United States before reaching Canada. Right now the infrastructure funding in Mexico is very limited, as you probably know. We would be glad to work together and increase it to the next level. We would like to see more ITS technology and be able to share data between the three countries and other security agencies.

Laura Feast:
Thank you, Manny.

Thank you all for attending today's seminar. The recorded version of this event will be available within the next week on the Talking Freight website.

I'd like to give a brief mention about the FHWA Freight Peer to Peer Program. The Freight Peer-to-Peer Program (P2P) puts public sector freight transportation professionals in touch with experts in the field and provides technical assistance in order to enhance overall freight skills and knowledge. The program is available to public entities, including State departments of transportation (DOTs) and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs). To learn more about the program or to arrange a peer exchange, or to discuss participating as a peer/expert please visit the Freight Peer to Peer web site.

The next seminar will be held on April 15 and will be about the National Freight Performance Measurement Data Dissemination Tool.

If you haven't done so already, I encourage you to visit the Talking Freight Web Site and sign up for this seminar. The address is up on the slide on your screen. I also encourage you to join the Freight Planning LISTSERV if you have not already done so.

Tony Furst:
I would say thank you to Manny and James for their presentations today. Appreciate you taking the time out of your day to join us. It's remarkable to have someone in Canada, Mexico and the United States to talk to you today.

Laura Feast:
With that we will close out for today. I will be uploading Tony's map for you, so you can log back in and download that, or stay online and I will get it up.

Tony Furst:
Keep in mind it's a notional map. We thought it showed where the different countries are in their corridors. Again, what I presented was a way to look at major U.S. corridors; it does not represent a departmental or administration position.

Laura Feast:
Thank you everybody. Have a good day.

Updated: 03/28/2011
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