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States want I-81 added to 'Corridors of the future'

October 26, 2008

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A coalition of six states threaded by Interstate 81 is hoping to include the highway in a new federal initiative to reduce congestion and improve freight delivery, officials said Thursday.

Six interstates, including Interstate 95, were designated as "Corridors of the Future" by the U.S. Department of Transportation in September 2007, and the I-81 Corridor Coalition hopes to add I-81 to the group, officials said Thursday.

Berkeley County Commissioner Ronald K. Collins said the designation ties into an ongoing lobbying effort to convince Norfolk Southern Corp. to build a rail-based inland port in Berkeley County as part of a project to take some freight traffic off I-81.

Collins said the railroad company also was looking at Hagerstown as a possible location for the inland port.

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