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MDOT Seeks Comment on Draft State Freight, Rail Plans

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
The public comment period for both draft plans will close Aug. 11.

The public comment period for both draft plans will close Aug. 11.

The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) is requesting public comment on the Maryland State Freight Plan and the Maryland State Rail Plan, both of which have been published online for a 30-day outreach period that will close on Aug. 11 before being submitted to the required federal agencies for review and approval.

The Maryland State Freight Plan (download below), which is overseen by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and required every four years, examines existing and projected freight and supply chain conditions, and identifies statewide freight policies, strategies and projects to improve freight movement efficiency and safety. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 also requires certain new elements for freight plans, including assessments of e-commerce, freight, supply chain flows and truck parking.

The Maryland State Rail Plan (download below), required by the Federal Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA) and the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) of 2015, and updated every four years, outlines public and private investments and policies to ensure efficient, safe and sustainable movement of goods by rail. Beyond the federal requirements, the Maryland State Rail Plan’s comprehensive list of rail projects enables MDOT to work strategically with private railroads and other stakeholders to address rail needs and support where possible, the agency says.

Both plans, which MDOT says are “critical to support federal, state and private investment in Maryland’s rail and freight network” are expected to be finalized and become available online later this year once approved by the governing federal agency.

In related developments, the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) late last month requested comments on its draft State Rail Plan, which provides an overview of freight rail networks in Kansas, commodity flows, economic data and information about passenger rail service in the state.

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