PHOENIX – In a move to make travel on Interstate 10 safer and more efficient, the transportation leaders in four states have created a coalition supporting innovation along the corridor.
An agreement establishing the voluntary I-10 Corridor Coalition, proposed by Arizona Department of Transportation Director John Halikowski, was signed June 2 by Halikowski and:
- Malcolm Dougherty, director of the California Department of Transportation
- Tom Church, cabinet secretary of the New Mexico Department of Transportation
- James Bass, executive director of the Texas Department of Transportation
“The efficient flow of commerce in Arizona drives our state’s economic vitality,” Halikowski said. “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.
“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,” Halikowski added.
The I-10 Corridor Coalition is modeled after a coalition involving 15 states that govern Interstate 95 between Florida and Maine. For Arizona, the partnership is designed to remove what transportation officials refer to as “friction” – such as the variety of commercial vehicle permitting and inspection practices in each state along I-10 – that makes the movement of goods less efficient than it could be.
Commerce flowing on Interstate 10 across California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas is the engine of a powerful economic region. I-10 is the primary trucking route to and from the Port of Long Beach, which connects to Asian markets, and connects the trillion-dollar markets of Southern California and central Texas.
If the four states were combined, the region would have the 10th largest economy in the world.
“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,” Halikowski said, outlining a vision for the safer, more efficient movement of commercial and non-commercial traffic.
The coalition will employ the transportation expertise of the states collectively to enable resource sharing, joint testing and economies of scale, Halikowski said. 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.
The coalition also will engage other levels of government and private stakeholders throughout the corridor to achieve the goals of friction-free travel.