Freight issues are increasingly important to overall statewide planning by all State Departments of Transportation. Economic development and population growth projection are putting increasing pressures on modal choice for delivery of raw materials and finished goods to, from, within, and through the State of Alabama. Manufacturing and distribution activities using air, rail, truck, and waterborne services are seeking faster, less costly, and more efficient means of reaching targeted markets; this demands that the Alabama transportation network, as a whole, functions as smoothly as its many modal parts and intermodal combinations will allow.

Viewers will find this site is primarily a data and information resource relying heavily on mapping and illustration. The intent is to provide planning data and narrative pertaining to modal and intermodal movement both within the state of Alabama and also within a larger regional context. This site will be the repository of the Alabama Statewide Freight Plan and other freight related information.

2017 Alabama Statewide Freight Plan

Freight Plan

In Alabama a large percentage of goods still move by truck. This increasing percentage means increased congestion for much of the state. The result is an enlarged effort to promote other methods of freight transportation while still focusing on the immediate need of new highways. With limited funding, ALDOT is still adding capacity to major roads (i.e. I-65, I-20, US-98) and building new roads in Interstate 22 and the Montgomery Outer Loop.

Federal Law and Alabama Code
Traffic Information
Emergency Information
Welcome Centers and Rest Areas
Truck Size and Weight
Runaway Truck Ramps
Trucking Trends

U.S. rail freight is a $60 billion industry consisting of 140,000 rail miles. Alabama is home to five Class 1 railroads and dozens of short-line and industrial railroads. Altogether there are more than 165 million tons of freight originating, terminating, or moving through Alabama. Coal alone accounts for 48% of the freight terminating in Alabama, 69% of the freight moving inside the state, and 29% of the freight moving through the state. The purpose of this section is to demonstrate the types and location of freight moving by rail in Alabama.

Sources: Federal Railroad Administration, 2013 Alabama Rail Plan.
2014 Rail Plan
2014 Rail Directory
Network
Technology
Rail Statistics

Alabama’s airport system consists of over 200 registered airfields, six of which have regularly scheduled commercial service. The Aeronautics Bureau was placed under the Alabama Department of Transportation in 2000, and they maintain a plan to keep the system intact. When considering things such as job creation, tourism, and the movement of goods, aviation has a more than $4.5 billion economic impact in Alabama.

Sources: ALDOT Aeronautics Bureau
Airport System Plan

The Port of Mobile is one of the nation’s deepest permanently navigable channels. The USDOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics maintains a list of the top 50 U.S. water ports, ranked by total tons. The Port of Mobile ranks 12th on that list. The port receives everything from wood pulp to metals to chemicals to coal. The purpose of this section is to demonstrate the types and location of freight moving by port in Alabama.

Sources: USDOT Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Amazingalabama.com
Types of Maritime Vessels
Chocktaw Point Expansion

Pipelines are one of the most practical ways to move liquid petroleum products. 71% of crude oil and petroleum products are shipped by pipeline, 22% move by tanker and barge, 4% move by truck, and 3% go by rail. Pipelines handle everything from crude oil to natural gas to highly volatile liquids. The purpose of this section is to show the locations of pipelines.

Sources: Pipeline101.com

Pipeline Map

Curent Information
Mapping

National Primary Freight Network
This map depicts the entire National Primary Freight Network. More information on the National Primary Freight Network can be found on the Federal Highway Administration’s website.
National Primary Freight Network (Alabama Portion)
Depicts the Alabama portion of the National Primary Freight Network in addition to I-59 and the soon-to-be completed I-22 (US 78) for their regional connectivity significance. In addition, the centerline and lane miles are listed in tabular form for each interstate segment, with the incomplete portion of I-22 given as an estimate. More information on the National Primary Freight Network can be found on the Federal Highway Administration’s website.
Statewide Primary Freight Network
Expands upon the National Primary Freight Network to include the major highways and other important corridors for freight movement in the state. The Statewide Primary Freight Network includes I-59 and the soon-to-be completed I-22 (US 78), as well as State Route 113 which serves as a link to the greater Pensacola, FL area. More information on the Statewide Primary Freight Network can be found in the Alabama Statewide Freight Plan.
MultiModal Network
This map was developed by the U.S. DOT as part of their National Freight Strategic Plan. The map depicts airports, ports, rail connectors, railways, marine highways, and highways of significance. More information, including the methodology, can be found in the National Freight Strategic Plan.

National Motor Carrier Frieght Flow To/From Alabama
Depicts the estimated Freight Analysis Framework (FAF) truck movement to, from, and within Alabama in the 2010 estimation year for highway segments with more than 2,500 FAF trucks per day and in between places typically more than fifty miles apart. Map provided by the US DOT, FHWA, and based on Freight Analysis Framework, version 3.4.
2007 Alabama Frieght Flow
Depicts the Freight Analysis Framework (FAF) estimated truck movement within Alabama and to and from major freight concentrations immediately outside the state. Truck flow is shown on major roadways with an estimated 2007 FAF truck volume greater than 100 trucks per day. Map based on U.S. 2010 Census Data and Freight Analysis Framework 3.4.
Regional Truck Freight AADT - 2007
The Regional Truck Freight Average Daily Traffic – 2007 map depicts the Freight Analysis Framework (FAF) version 3.4 estimated 2007 daily truck traffic on the FAF network. Line weight scales are based on the average daily traffic volume of trucks on the particular roadway, with a thin black line depicting roads in the FAF network but with zero estimated trucks. The political boundaries shown in the map act as a preview for the forthcoming Alabama Freight Model’s zones. Alabama and the immediate vicinity use U.S. 2010 Census Tracts, expanding to counties for the remainder of Alabama’s neighboring states (Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee), and at FAF zones for the remainder of the country.
Regional Truck Freight AADT - 2040
The Regional Truck Freight Average Daily Traffic – 2040 map depicts the Freight Analysis Framework (FAF) version 3.4 projected 2040 daily truck traffic on the FAF network. Line weight scales are based on the average daily traffic volume of trucks on the particular roadway, with a thin black line depicting roads in the FAF network but with zero estimated trucks. The political boundaries shown in the map act as a preview for the forthcoming Alabama Freight Model’s zones. Alabama and the immediate vicinity use U.S. 2010 Census Tracts, expanding to counties for the remainder of Alabama’s neighboring states (Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee), and at FAF zones for the remainder of the country.
Alabama Known Freight Generators
Depicts the Alabama Primary Freight Network, Class I and Class II railways, and known freight generators in and immediately around Alabama. Freight Concentration areas are depicted to visually group together industries that tend to interact with each other through the production of and subsequent nearby use of parts and other components. This visual grouping does not conclude that each industry in the area provides or consumes parts and services from other industries in the area, either solely or in part. No representation of freight volumes or employment are made in this map.
Direct Rail and Barge Access
Depicts known freight generators with direct access to rail and/or water port facilities. Direct access implies that there is a facility on-site to facilitate the transfer of goods and materials to and from non-truck modes of transportation. This means that for direct rail access there must be a section of rail that splits off of the main line and ends on-site or runs adjacent to the site. Direct barge access demands that the facility must be in very close proximity to the water and there be an obvious docking point for barges to be loaded or unloaded. This map depicts Class I and II railways, though the freight generators depicted may be serviced by Class III railways. While this map depicts freight generators with the infrastructure capacities to use these alternative means of transportation, it does not in any way indicate the freight generator’s current, previous, or future use these facilities.
Alabama Known Intermodal Connectors
Depicts the identified locations where freight can transfer from one facility type to another, such as truck to rail. In addition, Alabama’s major ports (Mobile, Decatur, and Guntersville) and minor ports are shown, along with airports that are Part 139 Certified. This map’s rail network includes Class I and Class II, though many of the industries and intermodal connectors are served by Class III railways. More on Part 139 Certification can be found at this link.
Alabama Energy Facilities
Industry is both a large attractor and generator for freight vehicles in Alabama. The trucking industry plays a large part in transferring natural resources to various power plants across Alabama. Current legislation calls for the development of a National Freight Network to include routes that provide access to energy exploration, development, installation, or production areas.
Bridges Critical to Freight Network as of 2014
Shows bridges along the Alabama Freight Network that are eligible for replacement or rehabilitation with federal funding. Bridges are selected for eligibility based on a sufficiency rating that addresses:

  • Structural adequacy and safety
  • Serviceability and functional obsolescence
  • Essentiality for public use
2016 Regional Strategic Highway Network
Depicts the Alabama portion of the United States Strategic Highway Network (STRAHNET). The STRAHNET is a 62,791 mile system of roads used to support U.S. military operations. 1,945 of those miles are located in the State of Alabama and provide access to locations such as Redstone Arsenal, Maxwell Air Force Base, and Fort Rucker.
Alabama Permitted Routes May 2015
Depicts the routes that an oversized or overweight vehicle could potentially take when traveling in and through the State of Alabama while in possession of a permit. A vehicle needs a permit if the vehicle or combination of vehicle and load exceeds any of the following dimensions (with exceptions):

  • Width: 102 Inches on roads with greater than 12 foot lanes; or 96 inches on roads that are less than 12 foot wide.
  • Height: 162 inches.
  • Length 480 inches.
  • Overhang: 60 inches total for both front and rear.
  • Weight: 20,000 pounds per axle.
It should be noted that while this map depicts all the permitted routes, some particular routes have limitations that may prevent certain oversized or overweight vehicles from using them; additionally, this map does not depict any construction or other maintenance zones that may further alter the available permitted routes. Please visit the ALDOT Vehicle Enforcement Office’s website for more information on the permit process and for the latest routing information: Oversize and Overweight Permit Information
Disclaimer: This site contains copyrighted materials. It is not the intent of the Alabama Department of Transportation to mislead or misinform the public or practicing professionals with the information provided herein and therefore the Department will not accept liability for loss or damage resulting from the inappropriate use of such information. All ALDOT original documents and materials found on this site are copyrighted 2013 or earlier, and are provided here for viewing or download subject to above caveat. The links to other websites are provided for viewer convenience only. If there is a question or concern regarding any part of this website, please contact the Site Administrator at 334-242-6098 or submit the comment form below.
Comments on this Freight Process and the website are welcomed. Please submit using this form and we will try to reply in a timely manner. - Bryan Fair, Site Administrator.

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