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Mississippi Valley Freight Coalition now the Mid-America Freight Coalition

An organization that focuses on planning, operating, preserving and improving freight transportation infrastructure and networks throughout the Midwest has a new name, although its mission remains the same.

Staffed by the National Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education, a national University Transportation Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and coordinated in conjunction with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the Mississippi Valley Freight Coalition is now the Mid-America Freight Coalition (MAFC).

The coalition’s technical committee voted for the change, which is consistent with the new name of the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials region to which the coalition’s 10 member states belong. Formerly the Mississippi Valley Conference, this region is now known as the Mid-America Association of State Transportation Officials.

The Mid-America Freight Coalition’s 10 member states—Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin—share key interstate corridors, inland waterways and the Great Lakes.

“The National Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education is committed to working with the coalition state departments of transportation,” says center director and UW-Madison Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Teresa Adams. “The MAFC provides us with rich opportunities for research, education and outreach activities of our national university transportation center.”

During the coming two-year period, the coalition will focus its research and outreach efforts on commercial vehicle operations training, economic analysis training, and the creation of a regional freight plan. “The members and staff of the Coalition are energized to begin developing a regional freight plan that will combine the efforts of each of the states to define a vision of how freight could move through the region,” said MAFC facilitator Ernie Wittwer.

The Mid-America Freight Coalition began in 2002 as the Upper Midwest Freight Corridor Study. It operated as the Mississippi Valley Freight Coalition from 2006 to 2010 and has been authorized and funded through 2012. The departments of transportation of the 10 member states provide two thirds of the $750,000 funding for the 2011-2012 MAFC program; the Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research provides one-third.

Steve Wagner