The Regional Goods Movement Plan, completed in 2012, recommended a follow-up study to analyze supply chain connections between the region’s four deepwater ports and emerging markets and to operate those supply chains efficiently without having to traverse the dense urban core. This recommendation was not a new idea at the time, but reflected a recommendation from previous TxDOT studies: the IH 69 corridor study, the I-69 Advisory Committee (a stakeholder / interest group) report, and the TxDOT Texas Freight Mobility Plan.
Historically, it seems the idea is officially cited at least as far back as 1991 with the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficient Act (ISTEA), which identified IH 69 as a “High Priority Corridor of National Significance” (See Sec. 1105 of the Act). This designation was rolled into the statement of purpose and need for a new Interstate, as detailed in a report titled the Corridor 18 Special Issues Study in 1997. Later, TxDOT and Texas State Government tried to leverage the various needs along the corridor and in the state economy into one composite economic development project and began work on the ill-fated Trans Texas Corridor in the early 2000's. Each study references the one before it and tried to update and/or expand the scope to better apply the previous findings to the current day.
More recently, the Houston-Galveston Area Council undertook a Regional Goods Movement Plan with the goal to initiate coordination between private and public stakeholders and identify different ranges of improvement strategies. Previous concepts were summarized with a map recommending a southern alignment around the region and connection back up to IH 69 on the northeast side (see the green route on the map on the right).
In order to accommodate the scope of the project, the following goals for the project are proposed.
The Ports Area Mobility Study will engage freight stakeholders in the planning process. The project incorporates a variety of meetings that will ensure that interested stakeholders are being educated, and that the comments and suggestions reach the study team.
For more information, contact: Patrick Mandapaka, Patrick.Mandapaka@h-gac.com.