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Highway and Rail Network Planning and Design for Inland Ports


Many North American jurisdictions have developed inland ports in response to rising demand for freight transportation and the need for fluid multimodal freight transportation networks and accompanying administrative systems. In response to this demand, inland ports have been developed over the last decade in Winnipeg (CentrePort Canada), Regina (Global Transportation Hub), and Calgary (Calgary Region Inland Port). Each of these ports has a unique value proposition aimed at attracting industry investment.
Manitoba has strategically invested in its inland port, CentrePort Canada, to facilitate existing trade to and from the province and grow opportunities for future trade linkages. CentrePort Canada is a tri-modal (air, rail, and truck) inland port that offers all the benefits of Canada’s Foreign Trade Zone programs. It is designed to be a single window for attracting businesses to the Winnipeg area and enhancing the competitiveness of the province. Located in northwest Winnipeg, CentrePort Canada has direct highway connections to Winnipeg’s Perimeter Highway and Manitoba’s National Highway System. Additionally, CentrePort Canada provides companies with connections to three Class 1 rail carriers and a 24/7 international airport.
The development of CentrePort Canada has the potential to attract and generate increasing truck, rail, and air traffic, representing both economic growth and potential infrastructure impacts. From a planning perspective, understanding these impacts and strategically investing in appropriate upgrades depends on the interests of multiple stakeholders and the characteristics of future demand. Moreover, proactive design decisions such as selecting an appropriate design vehicle and forecasting future truck traffic volume fundamentally influence geometric and structural features. Useful insights arising from these planning and design challenges provide a foundation for inland ports across Canada to collaborate in pursuit of their common goal—to enhance Canada’s economy.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Goods Movement – Reaching Destinations Safely and Efficiently
Maranchuk, K.
Regehr, J.D.,
Transportation planning