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Voice in the West- Regional Comprehensive Roadway Freight Network

Posted By Doug Kahl, Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) retained WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff to complete a study to define a comprehensive roadway freight network to serve businesses, consumers, and growth in the metropolitan Phoenix area. I recently attended a presentation given by Joe Bryan of WSP.


Phoenix is one of the top growing markets in our country. Expansion brings pressure on logistics systems, whether we are trying to bring supplies in to our facilities or get deliveries out. Part of Joe’s presentation identified the key roadway infrastructure that supply chains and their freight carriers depend upon to help focus public investment and management resources on those roads. The objective is to keep freight transportation reliable, productive and safe, support the competitiveness of industry, and help attract business to the region. 


This network needs to reach the clusters of industrial and commercial activity where freight is picked up or delivered, and it needs to connect them with cross-town surface routes as well as interstate highways.  The presentation provided information about how the project is accomplishing this, showing:

  • A range of relevant data about business location, freight activity, forecasts and roadway freight performance
  • A draft network for serving the region, based chiefly on existing infrastructure
  • An interactive feature that will let area supply chain professionals look at the network and the data themselves, and provide comments about additions, deletions, and improvements

The depth of research and graphical depictions provided the opportunity for an open discussion about the network, its components, and potential issues that see on first look. The roadway freight network will shape and support supply chain logistics in greater Phoenix for years to come, and will be the focus for infrastructure investment aimed at improving the performance of freight. Area businesses who are managing truck fleets, engage in intermodal transport, or who ship or receive significant volumes of goods regionally, nationally or globally will have their operations affected by this network.


Leaving the presentation I was wondering, how many other major municipalities and regional government authorities are being proactive and encouraging the involvement of area supply chain professionals as MAG has done here to design a transportation network sensitive to the needs of freight transportation.  We would be interested in your thoughts and comments.

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