Photo: Evan Lockridge

Photo: Evan Lockridge

The Intermodal Association of North American has submitted recommendations to the Federal Highway Administration to increase its focus on the intermodal movement of freight, following the agency recently releasing a draft designating the nation’s Primary Freight Network.

The draft designation of the PFN was published in the Federal Register on Nov. 19, 2013 following Congress directing FHWA to designate a 27,000 centerline mile highway PFN using certain factors. 

The group is calling for adding National Highway System freight intermodal connectors (roads leading to major intermodal terminals) to the PFN.

“Despite the critical link National Highway System freight intermodal connectors play in providing the actual ingress and egress between intermodal facilities and the NHS, they were not included in the draft PFN,” said IANA. “IANA recommends that FHWA amend the PFN map to include all NHS freight intermodal connectors, as they facilitate maximized use of each transportation mode and account for less than 1% of total NHS mileage.”

Citing an FHWA report to Congress, IANA notes that despite their integral role in intermodal freight movement, NHS freight intermodal connectors are underfunded when compared to the rest of the NHS and the cost of backlog improvements is over $2 billion. IANA says it is “encouraging Congress to designate funding and incentivize private investment so the value of tools, such as the PFN, can be realized.”

IANA’s complete comments, including a map of the “Primary Intermodal Freight Network,” can be viewed on its website.