The St. Louis Freightway officially got underway on Wednesday, April 27, at a Freight Summit hosted by the Bi-State Development Agency.
The Freightway, the new name for the effort formerly known as the St. Louis Regional Freight District, is the public-private effort to establish the bi-state region as one of the premier multi-modal freight hubs and distribution center in the nation. The effort will include marketing, advocacy, and development plans, including recommendations for major infrastructure improvements and how to pay for them.
The keynote speaker at the Freight Summit was Administrator Gregory G. Nadeau of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Nadeau oversees the $43 billion federal highway program and leads the nation’s effort for infrastructure funding. He spoke about the connections between investments in transportation infrastructure and economic growth.
The St. Louis Freightway has been in the planning stages since at least 2013, when the East-West Gateway Council of Governments released the final 300-page report of the St. Louis Regional Freight Study prepared by AECOM Technical Services, HIS Global Insight, and Civil Design, Inc., which looked at the region’s strengths and made recommendations for leveraging those strengths in an economic development strategy.
The freight district later was created as an enterprise of the Bi-State Development Agency. Eleven months ago, Mary Lamie was named the executive director of the district by the Freight Working Group, which included representatives of St. Clair County, St. Charles County, St. Louis County, Monroe County, Madison County, St. Louis City, the St. Louis Regional Chamber, East-West Gateway, Bi-State, the Terminal Railroad Association, and the Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois.