Welcome to the Interstate 81 Corridor Coalition Webpage

What is the Interstate 81 Corridor Coalition?

The coalition is partnership comprised of local, regional, and state organizations that are all interested in sound transportation planning. The Coalition includes local governments, metropolitan planning organizations, and state transportation departments, as well as private sector and non-profit organizations. These partners are from each of the six states that the corridor runs through.

This website provides information on programs, webinars, conferences, presentations and many other opportunities to learn about the importance and influence of I-81.

Vision and Mission of the I-81 Corridor Coalition

(revised August 26, 2013)

The I-81 Corridor Transportation Network, supporting both freight and passenger movement will be safe, efficient, environmentally sensitive, seamless and intermodal. The network will support economic development and encourage coordinated land use policy. 

 The mission of the I-81 Coalition Corridor is to improve the safety and efficiency of freight and passenger movement.  This will allow lives will be saved, costs to be reduced, and economic development opportunities to be expanded.  These objectives will be accomplished through the sharing of information and coordinated decision making, management, and operations.   

Interstate 81

Interstate 81, 855 miles in length and traversing six states, is part of the Eisenhower National System of Interstate Highways. Given its proximity to the highly urbanized and densely populated northeastern United States, the highway is one of the nation's leading conduits for goods movement and truck traffic. As such there are significant issues of congestion, safety, economic development, land use, and environment. Historical trends, increasing population, and greater development along the corridor strongly indicate a worsening of these complex transportation problems and thus urgently suggest a highly coordinated planning and management effort for Interstate 81.  The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration conducted an economic development study on the I-81 Corridor.  Martin Weiss was the team leader for the National Systems and Economic Development Team within the Office of Interstate and Border Planning for the FHWA and created a statement about the I-81 Corridor within the state of Pennsylvania

Interstate 81 Special Features

  • "Fear, Facts, and Future":  A Roanoke Times Special Feature.    Behind each of the 266 fatal crashes on I-81 between 1998 and 2008 is a story of human lives. Families. Commuters. Vacationers. Truckers. Many begin like any other trip on the road, then something happens. A tire blows. The road gets icy. Someone falls asleep. Click on the points below to read about the many lives upon whom I-81 has left an indelible mark. 
  • I-81: Troubled Highway: A Multi-Newspaper Special Feature    A joint feature of the Public Opinion, Chambersburg; The Sentinel, Carlisle; and the Lebanon Daily News, along with a journalism class at Shippensburg University taught by Dr. Michael Drager.  The four-part series, published simultaneously by the three newspapers in print and online Jan. 16-19, examines the ways Interstate 81 has re-shaped the smaller communities along its path, including Chambersburg, Carlisle and Lebanon. It has been both an economic lifeline and a challenge to public safety, while its continued viability is increasingly at risk due to little funding or public commitment to its future.  View article

Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) 2015 Road Ready e-Brochure

This e-brochure contains an electronic listing of all the road and bridge projects across Maryland.

March 2015 National Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Newsletter

Relevant Webinars and Presentations

Talking Freight Webinar:  An Overview of MARAD'S StrongPorts Program

Friday March 18th, 2015 from 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. (EST)

Marine ports and terminals play a key role within the U.S. freight transportation system, functioning as the primary gateway for international export and import shipments and for domestic, inland shipments of bulk materials and other containerized goods.  Demands on ports are likely going to continue to grow, particularly as U.S. trade increases and/or the cost of other, higher cost freight transportation modes go up.  Helping U.S. ports improve and modernize their facilities to meet their future needs benefits the national freight transportation system.  Because of U.S. ports' importance to the local, regional, state, and national economies, it is critical that public sector transportation planners, particularly with state Departments of Transportation, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, and municipalities where ports are located, be strongly engaged in port planning efforts.

To address the need to increase port capacity, the U.S. DOT Maritime Administration (MARAD) has created the StrongPorts Program.  This new program is focused on improving ports' freight efficiencies, promoting critical port infrastructure projects, and more broadly enhancing U.S. global economic competitiveness.  To achieve these goals, the program concentrates on three core areas: planning and engagement, financing, and project support.  The StrongPorts Program goals are achieved in part by strengthening planning coordination efforts between ports and state DOT, MPO, and municipal transportation agencies.

This webinar will provide various, real-world perspectives of the MARAD StrongPorts Program, presenting examples of how states, MPOs, and ports are working together to establish and support an on-going, cooperative, and comprehensive planning process that fully integrates maritime port freight needs into the transportation planning process.   

Topics and Presenters:

  • Overview of the MARAD StrongPorts Program by Roger Bohnert (U.S. DOT Maritime Administration (MARAD), Deputy Associate Administrator). This presentation will provide a synopsis of the current status and future vision for MARAD's StrongPorts Program.
  • MARAD StrongPorts Program - Port Benefits and Perspectives by John Young, American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA).  This presentation will provide insights into how the StrongPorts Program can benefit ports, both in terms of identifying port infrastructure, funding port improvements and strengthening the relationship between ports and state, regional, and local transportation-focused agencies.
  • MARAD StrongPorts Program - State DOT Perspective by Ben De Alba (California State Transportation Agency, Assistant Secretary for Rail and Ports).  This presentation will discuss how the StrongPorts Program initiatives fit into a state's overall freight transportation planning efforts.
  • MARAD Strong Ports Program - Regional/MPO Perspective by Rob Case (Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization) and Jeff Florin (Virginia Port Authority).  This presentation will examine how an MPO and a port authority have been able to work together to enhance a metropolitan area's transportation planning efforts and implement the initiatives of the StrongPorts Program. 

Registration for the webinar is available here  

If you have not yet participated in Talking Freight, you are encourage you to do so. These monthly seminars, sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration, are held via web conference, allowing participants to view PowerPoint presentations via an Internet connection while audibly listening to the presenters on your computer or telephone. There is no cost involved and you do not have to leave your desk to participate. More information about Talking Freight is available.  Links to past presentations and recordings are available.

Talking Freight seminars are eligible for 1.5 AICP Certification Maintenance Credits (for AICP members). In order to receive credit, you must attend the full seminar and login to the seminar with your full name or type your full name into the chat area during the seminar if you are in a room with a group of people. Visit the AICP web site for more information about AICP Certification Maintenance Credits. 

Asset Management Plan Notice of Proposed Rule-making (NPRM)

When: March 4th, 2015 from 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. (EST)

The MAP-21 Asset Management Plan Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NRPM) was published in the Federal Register on February 20, 2015.  State departments of transportation (DOTs), metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), trade associations, and the public will have the opportunity to weigh in using the comment docket HERE

Last year, comments closed on NPRMs related to Safety Performance Measures, the Highway Safety Improvement Program, and the Statewide and Metropolitan/Non-Metropolitan Planning provisions of MAP-21. Last month, the Pavement and Bridge Condition Performance Measures NPRM was published, and the comment period has been extended to May 8. Please check out FHWA's TPM website for more information on all these NPRMs.

Later this year, FHWA anticipates publishing an NPRM on MAP-21 provisions related to system performance measures, congestion, on-road mobile source emissions, and freight movement.

These rules collectively advance the vision of Congress to transform federal-aid programs to provide more efficient investments by focusing on national transportation goals; increasing accountability and transparency; and improving transportation investment decision-making.  


The 2015 Freight Academy

When: April 26th - May 3rd, 2015

This is a very worthwhile and intensive training program that has benefited many public and private freight stakeholders from around the nation. The training will take place in and around the New Brunswick, NJ area.

For more information, please access the 2015 Freight Academy website HERE


A meeting jointly organized by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Federal Highway Adminstration (FHWA), has published presentations from the meeting, which are available HERE

A summary report is forthcoming.

Articles and Announcements

The Disruption Uber has Brought to the Taxi Business is Coming to Trucking

RAIL Solution announces record gift at annual meeting

The late Professor Richard Rusk of Blacksburg, VA, a life-long champion of energy efficiency and other environmental causes, has named RAIL Solution in his will as a recipient of 25% of his estate. Rusk was an associate professor and assistant head of the Physics Department at Virginia Tech, where he worked from 1949 until his retirement in 1982.

RAIL Solution chairman Rees Shearer said,  “We are extremely fortunate to have known Richard Rusk and are humbled by his generosity.  This could be a game-changer for us and allow us to do some things we’ve long wanted to do but couldn’t afford.”  The group plans to work with the Physics Department at Virginia Tech to place a memorial plaque in honor of Professor Rusk.

RAIL Solution, a non-profit rail advocacy group, held its annual meeting on Saturday, November 16, at the Roanoke Higher Education Center.

Announcement of Mayor's Challenge

Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx announced the Mayor’s Challenge as part of his "Safer People, Safer Streets initiative." The Mayor’s Challenge calls on local elected officials to make a commitment to improving pedestrian and bicycle safety over the next year. It encourages broader use of existing tools and resources, showcases effective local actions to improve safety, and promotes partnerships to advance pedestrian and bicycle safety. 

For more information see this press release or check out the Mayor's Challenge Website.


The Air Quality and Transportation Conformity Highlights provides the latest news and information on transportation related air quality activities, including information on transportation conformity, the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) program, Mobile Source Air Toxics, and other activities undertaken by the Air Quality and Transportation Conformity Team.  

Items of interest in this issue include:

  • FHWA Released Maps for the 2008 Ozone Non-attainment Areas
  • PM Quantitative Hot-Spot Analysis Examples are Available on FHWA’s Website

I would encourage you to share the Highlights with State and local transportation and air quality partners, and all who may be interested in transportation related air quality issues.  Past issues of the Highlights are available on FHWA's website at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/air_quality/conformity/highlights/

Divisions and the Resource Center are encouraged to email suggestions for items to be included in the Highlights to: Victoria.Martinez@dot.gov.  If you have any questions regarding the items included in the Highlights, please contact Cecilia Ho at Cecilia.ho@dot.gov or at 202-366-9862.  

Public Input on Transportation Priorities Sought for State Transportation Program Update

Registration for Initiative’s First-Ever Online Public Meeting Also Encouraged.

Harrisburg – As part of the update to the commonwealth’s 12-Year Transportation Program, Pennsylvanians are invited to visit www.TalkPATransportation.com to provide input on their transportation priorities and to register for the program’s first-ever interactive online public meeting.   The program, which serves as a blueprint of prioritized transportation projects, is updated every two years through a cooperative effort among the State Transportation Commission (STC), PennDOT and its 23 regional planning partners.  Click here for the full press release.

Freight Planning Programs for State DOTs and MPOs

August 2013

Several programs and activities of the Second Round of the FWHA Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) have been announced.    These opportunities for state DOTs and MPOs include:

  • C19: Expediting Project Delivery - Contains 24 strategies to address or avoid 16 common constraints to speed delivery of transportation planning and environmental review projects.
  • R16: Railroad-DOT Mitigation Strategies - Contains model legal agreements, recommended practices, sample contracts, and training materials to resolve underlying sources of conflicts and streamline review and agreement processes.
  • R09: Managing Risk in Rapid Renewal Projects - This SHRP2 product was featured in the first round of implementation assistance opportunities; and two pilot projects were selected. In this round, we are seeking lead adopters to use this product to identify, assess, mitigate, allocate, and monitor risk on accelerated reconstruction projects.
  • R07: Performance Specifications for Rapid Highway Renewal - Contains example construction performance specifications requiring greater quality control for accelerated road and bridge projects in topic areas such as asphalt and concrete pavements, concrete bridge decks, and work zone traffic control.

This program may be of particular interest to state Departments of Transportation and Metropolitan Planning Organizations.  If you know people who would be interested in the program, please share the information in this announcement with them.  The due date for application submissions for all four of the above products is September 6th.

More details about the SHRP 2 Implementation Assistance Program are available at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/goshrp2/GetInvolved/ImplementationAssistance.

Freight Partnership V Meeting Video Available Via AASHTO

AASHTO’s Transportation TV team recently placed a Freight Partnership V meeting-related video on its website.  The video includes presentation excerpts from U.S. DOT Deputy Secretary John Porcari, FHWA Deputy Administrator Greg Nadeau, AASHTO Executive Director (and former FHWA Executive Director) Bud Wright, Illinois DOT Secretary Ann Schneider, Florida Assistant DOT Secretary Rich Biter, and AASHTO Intermodal Programs Director Leo Penne.  To view the video, click on this link:  http://www.transportationtv.org/Pages/default.aspx

Website Recent Updates

  • Virginia Truck Parking Study - VDOT, 2015 (located in Library)