Officials designate WA highway “Critical Rural Freight Corridor”

Officials designate WA highway “Critical Rural Freight Corridor”

The Federal Highway Administration and the Washington state Department of Transportation (WSDOT) recently designated Washington State Route (SR) 281 as a “Critical Rural Freight Corridor.”

SR 281 is located within the boundaries of the Port of Quincy, and runs for approximately 10 miles between Interstate 90 at George WA and State Route 28 at Quincy WA.

This designation of SR 281 as a Critical Rural Freight Corridor puts SR 281 in strong consideration or on a higher priority to be widened to four lanes (from George to Quincy).

There are several reasons for the designation of SR 281 as a Critical Rural Freight Corridor. It is a high-volume “T-2” truck corridor, and in 2015, nearly 8 million tons of cargo traveled on it. A large volume of truck traffic on SR 281 comes from the Wenatchee and Chelan areas on SR 28 via SR 281 to I-90. These areas are among the largest fruit packing areas in the world.

A great deal of truck traffic comes directly from Quincy, as there are several food processors (frozen French fries, frozen vegetables, etc), fresh produce packers (apples, potatoes, onions, etc), and nearly 1 million square feet of cold storage warehousing in Quincy. This warehousing stores many of the above-mentioned products that are mostly transported from Quincy on SR 281 to I-90, destined for export from the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma, or for Midwest or East Coast domestic markets.

The designation of SR 281 is widely supported by shippers, farmers, processors, organizations and businesses in central Washington, as dozens of letters of support were collected by the Port of Quincy and sent to QUADCO (a regional transportation planning organization in central Washington) and the WSDOT in August.

Furthermore, the Port of Quincy has an Intermodal Terminal in Quincy, which is on the Seattle-to-Chicago BNSF Northern Corridor mainline. The Port of Quincy Intermodal Terminal has been a key hub for shipping Washington state fresh produce and frozen foods to destinations throughout the Midwest and East Coast.

For more information, contact Curt Morris or Patrick Boss of the Port of Quincy at 509-214-7696.

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