Summit to explore movement of freight throughout Idaho

Idaho’s landscape is as varied as the goods transported through it. A few corridors are used regularly to ship everything from crop harvests to computer chips through terrain that climbs from 738 feet to more than two miles above sea level. Moving freight through Idaho will be the focus of a Freight Summit jointly sponsored by ITD, the Idaho Department of Agriculture and Boise State University Dec. 13 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at BSU.

The event will provide an early opportunity for people interested in the movement of goods in and throughout Idaho to participate in helping identify key freight issues, concerns and opportunities. The summit is a prelude to a study of current and future freight-related transportation needs.

Discussion topics include national freight trends, the connection between freight and economic development, and the importance of freight in Idaho. Participants also will learn more about ITD’s freight study and rail plan. Group discussions are planned.

The purpose of the study is to identify policies, programs and investments within the state’s transportation network that will facilitate the efficient movement of freight over state transportation systems, improve safety and support economic development at the state and local levels.

The study is expected to be complete in November 2012.

Data from the study will be used to update the state’s Freight and Passenger Rail Plan. The plan update will help develop and preserve essential freight and passenger rail services in Idaho, set public and private sector priorities, and guide investments and policy or program changes.

Updating the state’s current rail plan will allow Idaho to compete for national rail-related funds and meet necessary state and federal requirements.

ITD is combining its freight study with a needed update of the state’s Freight and Passenger Rail Plan in an effort to save money and best use federal funds. The summit will be the first of several tools used and events planned to gather public input on the movement of freight in Idaho.

For more information, contact Maureen Gresham at (208) 334-8272 or e-mail her at .

Published 12-2-2011