Great Lakes Regional Transportation Operations Coalition

Category Archive: Freight

Midwest Chicago Megaregion Workshop

Our Great Lakes Megaregion has a population of nearly 70 million across the GLRTOC member areas, and the importance of the cross border economy of the Chicago and Upper Midwest areas cannot be overstated. On August 28-29, 2017, public and private stakeholders across seven of our states and from the USDOT held a workshop focusing on multimodal freight transportation on a megaregion level.

For background, step through this slide deck (4.4mb pdf) from FHWA on the topic of megaregions, presented March 2017 at the National Association of Counties Transportation Peer Exchange. It helps define megaregions from the FHWA perspective, implications for transportation, and the critical connection to freight movement and local economies.

The workshop agenda (0.3mb pdf) provides an excellent summary of the workshop, the very outcome-oriented topics the group tackled, and the wealth of expertise brought by the diverse participants.

A well-crafted white paper prepared in conjunction with the workshop is a must-read for anybody working on transportation and freight movement in the Midwest. View or download it here:


Truck Parking Technology

Dynamic message signs near four Wisconsin rest areas provide real-time parking information for commercial drivers

Sent: Dec. 15, 2016

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is joining several other Midwest states by installing Truck Parking Information Management Systems (TPIMS) near four rest areas along eastbound I-94 between Dunn and Columbia counties. The TPIMS technology will monitor a total of 157 parking stalls at four rest area locations: Rest Area 61 near Menomonie; Rest Area 53 near Millston; Rest Area 9 near Lyndon Station; and Rest Area 11 near Portage.

TPIMS uses advanced technology, including sensors and cameras, to create real-time information about the availability of truck parking that drivers can monitor by dynamic roadside signs with expanded options planned for next year. These tools enhance safety and efficiency by helping commercial truck drivers nearing their end-of-service hours better plan rest periods without having to exit the freeway and waste time and fuel looking for appropriate space. Continue Reading

MAASTO TPIMS Rolling Along!

In October 2015 the Mid-America Association of State Transportation Officials (MAASTO) received a $25 million federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant awarded to deploy a Regional Truck Parking Information Management System (TPIMS).  The MAASTO TPIMS will be a dynamic, real-time regional truck parking availability or notification system developed by eight MAASTO states:  Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky.  This collaboration effort has been put into place because all parties understand the regional nature of long-haul trucking and the desperate need for smarter truck parking. While coming together for a unified purpose, the MAASTO TPIMS Partnership will develop standard sign designs and other notification methods to be used along with a common software Application Program Interface (API), to share availability data with each other and external parties.   Ultimately, this system will provide for information dissemination to enable seamless system use across state lines.

The project team has just completed preliminary engineering (30% design) activities associated with the regional deployment including: concept of operations, system requirements, standard design details, and standard site layouts.  Each state is now in the process of moving forward with completing its state-specific design and delivery activities.

For more information, visit, and be sure to check out their six-minute video!


Green Light for Toll Bridge Linking I-80 to CenterPoint

From the Chicago Tribune:

The state has given the green light to a new toll bridge linking Interstate 80 to the CenterPoint intermodal facility in Joliet and Elwood.

The Houbolt Road bridge agreement, announced Monday, is designed to alleviate traffic congestion on local roads and fuel continued growth for the booming truck and train transportation hub, officials said.

The public-private project will cost $170 million to $190 million, with CenterPoint building and operating the toll bridge over the Des Plaines River. The Illinois Department of Transportation is covering $21 million of that cost to widen Houbolt Road and reconfigure the existing interchange with I-80 to handle increased traffic demand.

Click here for the full article