Executives of Four SW State DOTs Form Coalition for ‘Friction-Free’ I-10 Corridor

AASHTO Journal, 10 June 2016

The heads of state departments of transportation from Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas agreed June 2 to form a coalition that they say will support innovation and help make travel safer and more efficient along the east-west Interstate 10 corridor.

That highway runs the full width of the United States in a southern zone that stretches from Santa Monica, Calif., to Jacksonville, Fla., with about a third of its mileage in Texas.

The Arizona DOT announced the accord to form the I-10 Corridor Coalition, and said ADOT Director John Halikowski had proposed it.

Signing the agreement with him were Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty, New Mexico Transportation Cabinet Secretary Tom Church and James Bass, executive director of the Texas DOT.

“The efficient flow of commerce in Arizona drives our state’s economic vitality,” Halikowski said. “This agreement with our transportation partners in California, New Mexico and Texas will work to build a reliable, friction-free I-10 corridor to support Arizona’s businesses and export industries.”

He added: “We want to see the day when a truck or a non-commercial vehicle can travel the 1,700 miles between Los Angeles ports and Houston ports safely, efficiently and without delay.” Halikowski added.

The announcement said they modeled the I-10 Corridor Coalition after a group that brings together 15 states along I-95 from Florida to Maine.

ADOT said the new partnership in the Southwest is designed to remove what transportation officials refer to as “friction” that makes the movement of goods less efficient along I-10, such as the variety of commercial vehicle permitting and inspection practices in each state.

I-10 is the primary trucking route to and from the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif., which connect Asian markets overseas with the trillion-dollar markets of southern California and central Texas.

“Someday we want the I-10 Corridor to be filled with truck platoons and connected vehicles, weigh-in-motion sensors and automated truck parking lots,” Halikowski said, outlining his vision for safer and more efficient movement of both commercial and non-commercial traffic.

He said the coalition will tap the transportation expertise of its state members to share resources, jointly test ideas and achieve economies of scale.

Halikowski said the group will apply best practices to improve safety and efficiency along the corridor, improve freight movement, expand and coordinate the use of technology along the corridor and promote cooperative planning.

The coalition also will engage other levels of government and private stakeholders throughout the corridor to achieve its friction-free travel goals, ADOT said.

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