Our transportation system is not only used to move people from one place to another but also to ship the commodities that we need in our everyday life. Trucks, ships and rail lines are used to move goods to and from stores, factories and other locations. This has a significant impact on our transportation system. The WILMAPCO region alone generates nearly 37 million tons of freight annually, making freight a largest contributor to the regions' economic success. What is equally important is that over 72 million tons pass through the region each year, adding significant traffic to our expressways and other major arterials.
Nationwide, freight has been growing at 2.5 percent to 3 percent per year, and is forecasted to continue this growth through at least 2035. This leads to a near doubling of freight volumes every 20 years. This is faster than the growth rates for passenger vehicles, leading to a higher percentage of heavy trucks on the roadways. As the share of heavy trucks increases, concerns regarding congestion, safety, and air pollution prompt the need for system improvements.