Increase Commerce Through Improved Freight Transportation


Develop and maintain a sustainable, multi-modal, interconnected freight transportation system that enables the region to compete globally.

Intended outcome:

Improved movement of freight to, from, and through the Power of 32 region by highway, rail, water, and air. Elimination of pinch points which delay movement, maintained and improved locks and dams, increased freight movement by rail and waterway, freed up capacity on roadways, and prioritized projects which will have the greatest regional benefit.


  • Support a long-term plan for maintenance and improvement of the region's locks and dams.
  • Convene a meeting of the four state Secretaries of Transportation.
  • Determine status, schedule, and scope of proposed Pennsylvania and pending West Virginia freight movement studies.
  • Convene a regional planning committee.
  • Inventory the transportation network across the 32 counties, since all conventional mapping ends at jurisdictional borders.
  • Facilitate an analysis of the pinch points and/or improvements that would be necessary to increase rail and waterway share of freight traffic through the region, understanding that those threats/opportunities may lie physically outside the actual 32 counties but affect the network within them. Increasing the amount of freight on rail and waterways, it's more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly, and frees up capacity and throughput on the roadways.

Lead Organization:

Regional Process Facilitated by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development

"Our region generally is blessed with great railroads and water transportation that a lot of places can't match. The question is, how do you use those to the best advantage for economic development and sustainability? The really good thing coming out of this process is the explicit recognition that these systems go beyond borders, and that we need to look at them holistically."

– Ken Zapinski, Senior Vice President of Energy & Infrastructure, Allegheny Conference, member of the P32 Transportation and Infrastructure team

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