Report predicts future boom in southwest PA freight movement

Written by The Associated Press | Jan 17, 2017 9:46 AM

Trucks and cars move through a Pennsylvania Turnpike toll plaza without stopping to pay in Carlisle. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Pittsburgh) -- A recent analysis of the freight industry in Pennsylvania has concluded that the state's 10-county southwest region can expect movement to increase up to 40 percent by 2040.

The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission released its 104-page assessment last month.

The report estimates that the southwest region will move 282 million tons of material worth $255 million annually by 2040. In 2011, the region moved 201 million tons of freight valued at $124.5 million.

Sara Walfoort, the commission's manager for freight planning, says area roads should be able to handle the load increase.

But officials in the region have been advised to consider adding more rest areas for truckers and more multi-modal facilities near interstate hubs such as New Stanton, Cranberry and Pittsburgh International Airport.

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