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Identifying the ‘First and Last Mile Connector Routes’ in the Washington State Freight Economic Corridors

As part of developing the Washington State Freight Plan, the WSDOT Freight Systems Division is taking a first step towards providing freight stakeholders with a data-based picture of the first/last mile truck routes that connect the state’s freight-intensive land uses to the state’s backbone freight system. WSDOT worked with over 60 stakeholders in three Freight Plan Technical Teams across the state to develop the criteria to identify first/last mile connector routes, revised the criteria after meeting with Tribes and the Technical Committees of every MPO and RTPO in the state, and partnered with FMSIB to further refine the designation.

WSDOT Freight Systems Division has revised the preliminary designation of Freight Economic Corridors by incorporating inputs and feedbacks from cities, counties, ports, and MPO/RTPOs on first/last mile connector routes. The finalized criteria and maps for truck, rail, and waterway freight economic corridors are provided below. WSDOT will update the Freight Economic Corridor Designation every two years. 

Washington State Truck Freight Economic Corridor Criteria

The State Truck Freight Economic Corridors have four elements:

  1. T-1 freight corridors that carry more than 10 million tons per year;
  2. T-2 freight corridors that carry 4 to 10 million tons per year;
  3. Alternative freight routes that serve as alternatives to T-1 truck routes that experience severe-weather closures, and carry 300,000 to four million tons per year;
  4. First/last mile connector routes between freight-intensive land uses and T-1 and T-2 Freight Corridors. These criteria were used to identify the connector routes -

A. Statewide:

  • To-and-from T-1 and T-2 truck routes and strategic U.S. defense facilities.
  • Over-dimensional truck freight routes that connect the state’s significant intermodal facilities to the T-1 and T-2 highway system. 

B. In urban areas:

  • To-and-from the Interstate system and the (1) closest major airport with air freight service, (2) marine terminals, ports, barge loaders and other intermodal facilities, and (3) warehouse/industrial lands.
  • From high-volume urban freight intermodal facilities to other urban intermodal facilities, e.g. from the Port of Seattle to the BNSF rail yard in Seattle

C. In rural areas:

  • To-and-from state freight hubs located within five miles of T-1 and T-2 highways; freight hubs are defined as: (1) agricultural processing centers, (2) distribution centers, (3) intermodal facilities, and (4) industrial/commercial zoned land.
  • Routes that carry one million tons during three months of the year (reflecting seasonality) of agricultural, timber or other resource industry sector goods.

Data sources and Interim rules applied to implement above criteria and identify first/last mile connectors are included in this document (pdf 16 kb). Links to maps of regional Truck Freight Economic Corridors are at the bottom of this webpage.

Washington State Rail Freight Economic Corridor Criteria

The State Rail Freight Economic Corridors have four elements:

  1. R1 Rail Freight Corridors: carrying greater than 5 million tons of freight per year;
  2. R2 Rail Freight Corridors: carrying 1 to 5 million tons of freight per year;
  3. R3 Rail Freight Corridors: 5 hundred thousand to 1 million tons of freight per year;
  4. R4 Rail Freight Corridors: 1 hundred thousand to 5 hundred thousand tons of freight per year.

Statewide Map of Rail Freight Economic Corridors (pdf 1.3 mb)

Washington State Waterway Freight Economic Corridor Criteria

The State Waterway Freight Economic Corridors have four elements:

  1. W1 Waterway Freight Corridors: carrying greater than 25 million tons of freight per year;
  2. W2 Waterway Freight Corridors: carrying 10 million to 25 million tons of freight per year;
  3. W3 Waterway Freight Corridors: carrying 5 million to 10 million tons of freight per year;
  4. W4 Waterway Freight Corridors: carrying 2.5 million to 5 million tons of freight per year;
  5. W5 Waterway Freight Corridors: carrying 0.9 million to 2.5 million tons of freight per year.

Statewide Map of Waterway Freight Economic Corridors (pdf 0.9 mb)

Truck Freight Economic Corridor Maps by MPO/RTPO