Skip to contentUnited States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration FHWA HomeFeedback
The Strategic Multimodal Analysis - Task 3: Chicago-New York City Corridor Analysis - Final Report


This appendix provides exerts from previous studies of the corridor including State, county, regional plans, and studies. The information is organized as follows:

(if any)

Report/Study: Chicago Regional Environmental And Transportation Efficiency Project (CREATE).

Project Location: Chicago, Illinois

Authors: The National Council for Public-Private Partnership

Date: 2003


Project Summary:

The Chicago Regional Environmental and Transportation Efficiency Project (CREATE), a public/private partnership, is intended to improve passenger rail service, reduce delay to traffic, ease traffic congestion, increase safety and provide economic, environmental, and energy benefits for the Chicago region. The project will maximize the use of five rail corridors for a faster and more efficient rail network, 25 at-grade crossings by creating grade separations that separate motorists from trains, and create six rail-to-rail "flyovers" – overpasses and underpasses that separate passenger trains from freight trains.

Study: Upper Midwest Freight Corridor Study

Date: 2003-2005


Project Summary:

The study has researched several aspects of regional freight transportation including capacity, performance measures, administrative issues, demand/usage, and best practices. The corridor is defined by Interstate highways 80, 90, and 94 and is multimodal in nature. It acknowledges the assets this region has in its rail network, Great Lakes, pipelines, inland waterways, and airports.

The study officially began work in August 2003 and was completed in 2005. The study has its primary roots in the efforts of the Midwest Regional University Transportation Center (MRUTC) that started in 2001. The study is being funded from several sources. Six States in the region, through their Departments of Transportation, have contributed to a pooled fund to finance the majority of the work. These States include Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Each State contributed $60,000 to the pooled fund which is administered by the Ohio Department of Transportation. The research centers working on the study have also contributed funds for faculty and staff, student appointments and tuition costs, and various facilities and supplies.

The I-80/90/94 corridor and those major routes that influence the travel on it defined the study boundaries. The study focused on inventorying and characterizing existing freight transportation in the Upper Midwest Region including performance metrics, capacity, administrative issues, and usage. The research was conducted through a series of workshops, interactions with the participants, interviews and surveys of freight stakeholders, a review and synthesis of the literature and available data, and data analysis and interpretation. The study also developed infrastructure in the form of websites, an information clearinghouse, data catalogues, databases, and mapping and data manipulation tools to support the research. The study participants include researchers and representatives of the public and private sectors.

Freight volumes correlate very closely with other measures of economic activity. Because it tracks so closely with broader economic indicators, the capacity to move freight efficiently is an important ingredient in economic health.

Based on more recent projections of these and other economic measures, the study recommends planners modify the year 2000 to 2020 projections of freight growth to about 50 percent. This simply reflects the economic downturn earlier in this decade. However, even this modest growth will provide a major challenge to public and private infrastructures. Trade within the seven States and two provinces of the region is significant and the ability of the region to prosper depends upon the ability of the regional transportation system to accommodate the movement of goods. The experience of other regions supports the fact that regional activity and cooperation is important in influencing federal policy and in securing federal funding.

While both freight and personal travel are projected to grow significantly in the near future, some of the region's critical freight transportation links are currently being used at levels that exceed their designed capacity. Researchers found that traffic on the corridors waterways experienced delays of many hours at the antiquated system locks. Overall, air capacity remains available, but the focus of the air network on key hubs, like Chicago O'Hare, threaten even that vital carrier of high-value/low-weight cargo.

The market for each mode and for intermodal service tends to be well defined by economic and service factors. Low-value/low-service goods move by water or rail, while high-value/high-service goods tend to move by truck or air. Intermodal tends to serve a niche market defined by auto-related products and destinations in the West and Southwest. Intermodal (truck-rail) is a growing, but still minor part of the overall freight picture in the region. Under current public and private policies and practices, it will likely not become a major component of regional freight movements. Size and weight regulation of trucks moving through the region tends not to be a major issue. U.S. Federal rules provide uniformity on designated Federal routes and provincial rules are more lenient than any U.S. rules. For those truckers making pick-ups or deliveries in some States of the region, lower State size and weight rules may penalize efficiency.

Report: The Warehousing of Import and Export Goods in the United States

Authors: Cushman & Wakefield's (C&W) National Industrial Research Team, Dallas, Texas

Date: September 2003

Project Summary:

The intent of this paper is to evaluate the relationship between the trade industry and its use of the industrial real-estate market, specifically warehouse/distribution and manufacturing facilities. Comprising more than one-third of the U.S. economy, the trade industry has been the driver of the demand for industrial space by users throughout the supply chain and can be used to predict real-estate cycles and health. Driven by domestic and foreign corporate, as well as individual consumers, the demand for U.S. industrial real-estate by import and export companies has reportedly softened the negative effects of the technology fallout. The content of the paper describes:

Report: Comprehensive Rail Freight Study and 2003 Pennsylvania State Rail Plan

Sponsors: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

Authors: R.L. Banks & Associates, Inc., Washington D.C. and Linare Consulting, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Date: June 16, 2003

Project Summary:

This is a comprehensive update of Pennsylvania's 1996 State Rail Plan, complying with Federal Railroad Administration requirements, and with Pennsylvania's Rail Freight Preservation and Improvement Act of 1984 as amended.

Since 1996 there have been significant changes in the Commonwealth's rail system and in Federal rail programs. For example, the acquisition of Conrail by CSX and Norfolk Southern was approved by the Surface Transportation Board on June 8, 1998, and one year later operations began under the new owners. There also have been a number of changes in Pennsylvania's smaller railroads since 1996, not the least of which were those resulting from the Conrail line sale program that was underway but halted with the Conrail split. Pennsylvania has 5,145 miles of railroad operated and 69 freight railroads, more railroads than any other State.

Pennsylvania's core or strategic rail lines include some of the highest volume in the nation, such as the former Pennsylvania Railroad main line – now Norfolk Southern – connecting Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and Pittsburgh, and extending ultimately to Chicago. This line carries over 120 million gross tons (MGT) annually. Other very highly trafficked rail lines in Pennsylvania include CSX's east-west line through Erie, at 113 MGT; CSX's line through Connellsville, Pittsburgh and New Castle, 100 MGT; and Norfolk Southern's Reading-Bethlehem- Easton-New Jersey line, 100 MGT. Another important trunk line is Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, a portion of which passes through southeast Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia.

This State Rail Plan addresses key issues facing the railroad industry over the coming five years and discusses specific needs, challenges, and opportunities specifically relevant to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's transportation system. It also addresses ways by which Pennsylvania can influence the optimum development and use of its freight rail system in a manner which best serves the interest of Pennsylvania's citizens.

The following summarizes the most significant conclusions of this 2003 State Rail Plan:

Report: Intermodal Productivity and Goods Movement – Phase II: Land Access to Port and Terminal Gate Operations

Authors: University Transportation Research Center, City College of New York, New York, New York

Date: October 2002

Project Summary:

This project analyzes productivity issues at the Port Authority's New York/New Jersey intermodal transfer facilities linking port and surface transportation. Because of the complexity and variety of port issues involving the private as well as public sectors, the project concentrates on three critical areas and is divided into three phases:

The overall objective of this project is to find ways to improve the efficiency of cargo flow through the facility in order to maintain regional competitiveness.

Phase I of this project focused on the sea to shore cargo transfer issues such as strategic analysis of port development, crane productivity, and investment options in capital improvement. Based on the regional economic characteristics and cargo distribution patterns, this phase of the project, Phase II, focuses on land access to the port and gate operations.

Phase II centers on the surface and infrastructure access investments and procedures (including electronic) needed to improve freight movement into and out of the port to alleviate congestion. This phase is particularly important if the port is expected to become a hub port and handle the 5.5 million containers or more annually (more than double the 1995 volume) by the year 2015, as predicted. The Master Plan expects the port to handle 4.58 million TEUs by 2010, assuming 45-foot depths, and 5.44 million TEUs if the channels can be deepened to 50 feet. At the present time, only about 8 percent of the cargo that moves by truck through the Port of New York and New Jersey has its origin and destination beyond a 125 mile radius of the Port of Elizabeth - Port Newark Marine Terminal complex.

For the projected increase in container activity, including longer inland distribution distances, efficient port operation is essential. The terminal operator must also focus on surface infrastructure access so as to enable a smooth flow of containers into and out of the terminal. This study's preliminary analysis presents operation procedures based on the data provided by the terminal operators and then determine the appropriate procedures and infrastructure requirements for efficient operations to be implemented in a specific time period.

In this phase, the study analyzes the infrastructure accessibility to the gate and gate operations subject to engineering constraints and other limitations. First, the road capacity at the various facilities are determined, followed with a gate operations analysis and its contribution to congestion. The most demanding facility is the Port's Newark/Elizabeth Marine Terminal complex. The main area in Phase II of the study includes the intermodal links primarily and the truck with respect to the terminal gates and the port. A detailed study of the present terminal gate structure/characteristics such as gate hours, gate variation, traffic flow, labor agreements, design, procedure, etc., is provided. The goal of the analysis is to reduce the queuing length at the terminal gate itself.

To evaluate and improve on operational performance, the research team starts with a description of regional economic characteristics, followed by the analysis of the existing facilities and operations procedures and the calculations of costs associated with gate congestions. Lastly, the team recommends the combination of extended gate hours, physical expansion, and phased-in implementation of new technology to improve productivity.

Report: New York in the New World Economy: The I-90 Corridor Study

Authors: University Transportation Research Center, City College of New York, New York

Date: December 2002


Project Summary:

The I-90 corridor in Upstate New York is a classic example of the de-industrialization of the Northeastern United States. With few exceptions, all counties along the corridor have experienced a marked decline in manufacturing employment over the past three decades. While the service and FIRE have helped to absorb some of this decline in employment, the loss of manufacturing represents a decline in the economic "base" of the I-90 corridor. The types of products and jobs created by manufacturing employment are those that are by-and-large important to successful competition in the new global economy. Part of the solution to this economic malaise and the return of Upstate New York to competitiveness involves establishing better links between upstate regions and the global flows of goods and services (e.g., the NAFTA corridor). At the same time, high quality linkages must be established between the various economic centers of activity in the I-90 corridor. These linkages must simultaneously serve the needs of logistics firms and the needs of commuters. That is, the growth of local economic conditions must occur at the same time as increased ability to compete on the global scale. Transportation infrastructure is a crucial component of these linkages.

The study concluded with the following issues and opportunities for improvement of the corridor with the main need as a more efficient simultaneous movement of freight and commuters:

Report: A Transportation Profile of New York State

Authors: Planning and Strategy Group, New York State Department of Transportation, Albany, New York

Date: May 2004

Project Summary:

This report provides reference for New York State transportation statistics with a focus on demographic and related travel measures. Most of the information presented was obtained from the 2000 Census, the 1997 Commodity Flow Survey, the 2001 National Household Transportation Survey (NHTS), the 2000 Transborder Surface Freight Transportation Data, and the 2000 Highway Statistics published by the Federal Highway Administration. Coverage includes statistics related to population and employment, highways and vehicles, and personal travel, public transportation, air and rail travel, and freight movement.

< Appendix A | Table of Contents |

FHWA Home | Feedback