The Logistics industry relies on key infrastructures to successfully move cargo both domestically and internationally.
Among the key infrastructures are highways that are used, not only for the commuting public, but also for transporting freight. Highways are subject to regular wear and tear from traffic flow and accidents on a daily basis. Severe weather conditions can also have adverse, damaging effects on highways and even prompt more accidents. Over time, the negative effects can create massive delays for drivers and, if not addressed properly, it can make shipping in that area less desirable due to significant delays. For example, the Department of Transportation (DOT) estimated a substantial $63 billion loss annually for the trucking industry that was caused by highway congestion alone.
Interstate 95 (I-95) in Virginia has been experiencing serious congestion delays.
An independent, traffic data firm on the West Coast, called INRIX Roadway Analytics, published a 2017 study determining that approximately 1,394 traffic jams were recorded over a two-month period on the southbound lane on the I-95. This figure placed part of the Virginia I-95 within the top 25 most congested areas throughout the United States. Washington Top News has also reported that preliminary studies show at least 70% of delays are consistent and recurring, rather than due to crashes. The study indicates that delays are occurring even without accidents, so congestion would more than likely only increase the present delay, if an accident were to occur.
The Virginia Department of Transportation recognizes delay issues that stem from congestion on their section of I-95.
The Department plans to implement an I-95 Corridor Improvement Plan. According to the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB), which is supported by the Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment (OIPI), two official entities will join the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) to analyze I-95. This study is crucial for Virginia officials to identify key problem areas along I-95 and help create potential solutions. The study will also include the public by holding public meetings and online surveys for members of the community, industries, and other stakeholders, as reported by the Commonwealth Transportation Board. This additional portion of the study will allow all public feedback to be taken into consideration for further evaluation in hope of creating more accurate solutions for I-95 in Virginia.
Highways are crucial to maintain and improve over time when necessary, like Virginia’s I-95.
This would not only help the community, but also support the logistics industry so freight can be moved in a timely manner. I believe the I-95 Corridor Improvement Plan is a positive initiative in the right direction and may prove to resolve the current congestion issues in Virginia. It is also remarkable to see multiple official entities coming together to truly conduct an extensive study and, additionally, allowing the public to participate. I suspect that the Virginia I-95 congestion problems will be better identified and addressed under the Corridor Improvement Plan because a different sectors of the population dealing with these issues will come together, inclusively, to offer their perspectives and prospective solutions.