Photo: Arizona DOT

Photo: Arizona DOT

Transportation leaders from California, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico have created a coalition supporting innovation along the Interstate 10 corridor to improve the safety and efficiency of the vital transportation route.

An agreement establishing the voluntary I-10 Corridor Coalition, proposed by Arizona Department of Transportation director John Halikowski, was signed June 2. The initiative is modeled after a coalition involving 15 states that govern Interstate 95 that runs the length of the East Coast.

“The efficient flow of commerce in Arizona drives our state’s economic vitality,” said Halikowski. “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.”

The partnership is designed to remove what transportation officials refer to as “friction” from the corridor, such as the variety of commercial vehicle permitting and inspection practices in each state along I-10. These different policies and regulations restrict the movement of goods, creating transportation inefficiencies.

The coalition will employ the transportation knowledge of each state collectively to enable resource sharing, joint testing and economies of scale. It 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.

Interstate 10 is a major trucking route from the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles in Southern California to the rest of the U.S., transporting goods coming to the country from Asian markets all the way through Central Texas.

“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,” said Halikowski. “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.”