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April 17, 2017 11:00 AM, EDT
Sen. Capito to Keynote I-81 Corridor Coalition Conference April 24
Office of Sen. Shelley Moore Capito

Freight stakeholders concerned about congestion and aging infrastructure along Interstate 81 will hear from West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R) at a conference April 24 in West Virginia.

Andy Alden, executive director of the I-81 Corridor Coalition, told Transport Topics last week the senator will play a key role in helping to shape the corridor’s future.

During a hearing last month on truck safety, Capito stressed the importance of removing drivers found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol from roads as a way to reduce highway fatalities.

“As we know, driving under the influence is a preventable crime. And we must do everything we can to eliminate this,” said Capito, deputy whip for Republicans and a member of both surface transportation committees and the panel with jurisdiction over funding priorities.

Aside from brainstorming strategies intended to improve safety and alleviate congestion, the annual conference will address truck parking concerns, developments in connected transportation technologies and efforts aimed at minimizing driver fatigue. The I-81 corridor connects the Appalachia region between upstate New York and Tennessee.

“We want to share information,” Alden said. “It’s an opportunity for us to kind of share our vision for the future, for the corridor itself and for the coalition.”

Aside from the senator, other speakers will include Dale Bennett of the Virginia Trucking Association, Johan Engstrom of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and Todd Leiss of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

The conference will be held in Martinsburg, W.Va., during April 23-25.