DOT: Growing population, freight volumes to challenge U.S. transportation systems

| January 17, 2017

The DOT and Secretary Anthony Foxx released the Beyond Traffic 2045 report this week outlining some of the transportation and infrastructure challenges America will face over the next 30 years.

With the United States’ population expected to increase by 70 million people and freight volumes expected to grow by more than 40 percent in the next 30 years, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says these issues will create major challenges for the country’s transportation infrastructure.

Foxx issued a report last week outlining the challenges and proposed strategies for lawmakers. The Beyond Traffic 2045 report says the country must keep current roads, bridges and ports in good repair; fund new projects based on future projections rather than looking back at what the country has done in the past; and use new technologies and better designs to make the most of old and new infrastructure.

Foxx says the report is not meant to be a specific plan of action for lawmakers, but rather a starting point for discussions on how to improve our infrastructure going forward.

With freight volume projected to increase by more than 40 percent by 2045, driven in large part by online shopping, Foxx says some key policy options for lawmakers include improving freight planning and coordination at national, regional and local levels; targeting policies and investments aimed at reducing traffic congestion; and encouraging new strategies for first- and last-mile freight issues.

Shipper predictions: Freight will pick up in 2017

Shipper predictions: Freight will pick up in 2017

Shippers mostly expect freight movement to grow in 2017, according to a survey of more than 2,200 shippers recently conducted by Averitt Express, one of ...

Other areas Foxx looked at in the report include upgrading infrastructure to deal with climate change, relaxing regulations on automation and robotics and prioritizing transportation investments for communities with greatest needs.

The full 239-page Beyond Traffic 2045 report can be found here.

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