October 23, 2013 – A Freight Commodity Efficiency Study/Plan will be conducted for the five-county Bi-State Region. A freight study was completed in 1989 for a subset of the region limited to the Quad Cities urbanized area. Bi-State leaders and transportation officials believe a new, broader study should be conducted for the entire region in-light of changing conditions in the economy and environment. The study will examine the region and its ability to export and import various commodities efficiently through the use of barges, trains, trucks, and air planes. Determining if the region has the needed infrastructure to economically match goods to the most appropriate mode of transportation is the goal of the project. Key transportation facility needs will be identified and integrated into regional plans for future implementation.

The proposed project will support the fine tuning of both the Bi-State Regional Commission’s Long Range Transportation Plan and Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. The study will provide information on how to address transportation choices for freight and enhance economic competitiveness. The proposed project budget will range between $300,000 and $500,000 depending on the availability of funding from the Army Corps of Engineers. Other funders include the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Iowa Department of Transportation, and Bi-State Regional Commission through funds reserved for transportation planning. The funding will be used to contract with a consultant to conduct the freight study.
The purpose of this work is to prepare a multimodal, intermodal freight plan for the two-state, five county Bi-State Region that enhances the mobility of both people and goods while mitigating the negative impacts on mobility, safety, environment, and quality of life. Specific objectives include:
• Collect base freight data
• Support data needs for Bi-State 2045 LRP
• Inventory, forecast, evaluate, & identify freight needs/challenges
• Develop solutions that address challenges & efficiencies
• Evaluate costs & benefits for proposed solutions
• Prioritize long, medium, and short-term improvements
• Develop regional consensus on priorities