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Railroad from Follansbee to Weirton.

The current federal transportation bill MAP-21 has placed an increased emphasis on metropolitan area wide, statewide, and multi-statewide freight planning initiatives.  Coupled with the collapse of the region’s steel industry, many former manufacturing land holdings such as river ports, rail yards, and highway connections are becoming available for other types of reuse.  In response, BHJ commissioned a region-wide BHJ Freight Study in FY 2011 to understand some of these future intermodal transportation and land use redevelopment opportunities.  The BHJ Freight Study, completed in January 2011, successfully achieved the following objectives:

  • Determined the volume and nature of freight movements to, from, and through the BHJ region,
  • Identified impediments to efficient freight movements in region,
  • Forecasted freight growth, infrastructure needs, and potential reuse of existing transportation assets,
  • Considered environmental and economic impacts of an improved freight system, and
  • Identified a prioritized list of short and long-term strategies, including costs, that permit a more efficient and effective movement of regional intermodal freight traffic.
Man raising his hand at a meeting.

Since completion of the Freight Study, BHJ has taken an active role in regional and statewide Freight Planning activities.  BHJ participates in the Southwest Pennsylvania Commission (SPC – the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Pittsburgh, PA Metropolitan Area) semi-annual Freight Forums, scheduled on the first Tuesday of February and October each year.  The forum is an active partnership among the various freight modes – air, rail, waterways and trucking – that are crucial to the effective planning of freight transportation needs.  To facilitate collaboration between these multiple modes, representatives of these various sectors are invited to share information on issues and opportunities relevant to their operations and to establish relationships with other freight interests in the three-state region of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.  Annually, BHJ attends the Ohio Conference on Freight, in 2017 scheduled to convene in Columbus, OH in August, and the SPC Regional Freight Conference held yearly in Pittsburgh, PA

BHJ continues to work on several freight-related projects.  Not ordered by priority, these projects include:

  • Hill and Landslide Stabilization on Ohio SR7 and West Virginia SR2
  • Construct a New Ohio Bridge south of Wellsburg, WV and Brilliant, Wells Township, WV
  • Veterans Memorial Bridge Access Improvements at Ohio SR7 and University Boulevard in Steubenville, OH
  • Intersection Improvements at Freedom Way and Birch Drive and the Half Moon Industrial Park in Weirton, WV
  • Truck Parking Facility on Ohio SR7 northbound north of Rayland, OH
  • Improve Real Time Navigation and Highway Directional Signage to Freight-Concentrated Sites in the BHJ Area
  • Identify and Maintain Last-Mile Intermodal Freight Connectors in the BHJ Area

The complete report is available by selecting from each of the links below:

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