Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

Feb. 7, 2014

Orange barrels on a highway

MnDOT joins Great Northern Corridor Coalition to embark on improving freight movement, safety, community and environmental benefits

Critical infrastructure from the Great Lakes to the Pacific includes, ports, rail and highways

ST. PAUL, Minn.The Minnesota Department of Transportation has joined the effort to improve the Great Northern Corridor into a globally competitive, seamless and multistate freight corridor consisting of rail and road networks. The Great Northern Corridor spans the northern tier of the western United States from Chicago through Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon. Representative from these states have formed the Great Northern Corridor Coalition to promote regional cooperation, planning and shared project implementation for moving freight.

“This interconnected system of highways, rail and ports is vital to communities,” said Dave Christianson, MnDOT freight and rail senior planner. “We rely on this multimodal transportation system to move U.S. products to global markets and deliver necessary commodities to our communities.”

More than 203 million tons of freight moves over this corridor, and that number continues to grow as the economy improves. The coalition is working to strengthen the corridor to promote economic growth for neighboring communities and accommodate the demand for safe, efficient and environmentally sound transportation services. 

The first step is under way to identify opportunities to improve the technology, operations and infrastructure along the corridor. The study is being conducted by Olsson Associates, Parsons Brinckerhoff and The Beckett Group with funding through the Federal Highway Administration Multistate Corridor Operations and Management Program, and from coalition partners.

The next step to strengthening the corridor is identifying possible strategies to improve multimodal transportation system management and operations.

“This is a complex network of interconnected transportation systems that serves 27 million Americans,” said Christianson. “The transportation system unifies metropolitan and industrial centers like Chicago, Minneapolis, Portland and Puget Sound across hundreds of miles of critical agricultural and energy resource regions in rural areas in Montana, North Dakota, Idaho and Washington.”


Coalition partners include:
Washington State Department of Transportation
Oregon Department of Transportation
Idaho Transportation Department
Montana Department of Transportation
North Dakota Department of Transportation
Minnesota Department of Transportation
Wisconsin Department of Transportation
BNSF Railway
Washington Public Ports Association
Port of Seattle
Port of Tacoma
Port of Everett
Port of Quincy
Port of Northern Montana
Port of Pasco
Port of Grays Harbor
Port of Vancouver, USA
Port of Portland
Port of Longview




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