Pennsylvania Transportation Planners Identify Critical Freight Corridors

Tom Biery/Trans Pixs

The Lehigh Valley Transportation Study committee has approved a list of six regional roads that it believes are worthy of the "critical urban freight corridor" designation in the federal government's new National Highway Freight Network.

Critical urban freight corridors will be eligible for additional federal funding aimed at improving safety, reducing congestion and making freight transportation more productive and reliable, among other things.

The study committee's list, approved Dec. 19, includes Route 22 from Interstate 78 to Airport Road, Airport Road from Route 22 to Race Street, Route 33 from I-78 to the Northampton County line, Route 412 from I-78 to Commerce Center Boulevard, Route 100 from Tilghman Street to Route 222, and Route 222 from Schantz Road to I-78.

The list adds up to 38 miles of road, Kinney said, and a total of 141 miles in Pennsylvania will get the designation. Other metropolitan planning organizations in the state also are participating in the nomination process, though some hope to be designated "critical rural freight corridors."

Corridors will be ranked based on their connection to main arteries such as I-78 in the so-called "primary highway freight system," their importance to major warehouse centers and average daily truck traffic, among other criteria.

Kinney said any road improvements that result from the designation, where relevant, will maintain walkability and roadway safety for bicyclists.

Becky Bradley, executive director of the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, said that the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources conferred $142,000 to fund a regional bicycle and pedestrian plan in 2017.