Pennsylvania’s Infrastructure Keeps Business Moving
When I meet with companies and site selectors, transportation infrastructure is a frequent topic of conversation. Businesses require reliable access to their suppliers and customers and want to know what kind of framework is in place to ensure they can get their people and products to where they need to be.
This makes sense. Companies aren’t confined by borders, and I’m proud to say, neither are we. Our strategic location in the heart of the East Coast affords us access to vital assets within our own borders and those of our neighbors as well. We’re an easy drive, quick train trip, and an even shorter direct flight between the main U.S. financial and regulatory hubs.
In an increasingly globalized market, we also offer direct access to international markets via our three ports and six international airports.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Our infrastructure starts with our integrated network of highways, with more than 120,000 miles of interstate, state, and local roads enabling companies to reach every corner of our state and beyond.
For air travel, we offer six international airports in Pennsylvania, in addition to 130 public-use airports, 259 private-use airports, and 277 private-use heliports.
On the rails, Pennsylvania ranks first in the country in the number of operating railroads (64), and we rank near the top in total track mileage (more than 5,600 miles). We also have three class I railroads located in the state. Together, these railroads transport an impressive 170 million tons of freight each year.
Pennsylvania is also home to a robust port system, in the Ports of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Erie. We are the only state with port access to the Atlantic Ocean (Philadelphia), Gulf of Mexico (Pittsburgh) and the Great Lakes (Erie). We rank ninth in the nation for volume of goods moved through our ports, with more than 100 million tons of goods. In total, the three ports contribute an economic impact of nearly $50 billion in Pennsylvania.
Moving into the Future / Full Speed Ahead
We are also fortunate to have a governor who sees the value in preserving, maintaining, and investing in our infrastructure. The State Transportation Commission’s 12-Year Transportation Program was updated to address much-needed improvements, making $61.9 billion in funding available over the next decade for improvements to roads, bridges, transit systems, airports, and railroads.
These enhancements will help Pennsylvania remain an attractive location where businesses can increase their efficiency, cut down their delivery times, and save money in the process.
In addition to the 12-Year Transportation Plan, major projects first announced by Governor Wolf continue to progress and will further bolster infrastructure in the Keystone State upon their completion.
In November 2016, Governor Tom Wolf announced a $300 million investment into the PhilaPort’s infrastructure, warehousing, and equipment. These improvements will double the port’s cargo-handling capacity, deepen the terminal’s marginal berths to 45 feet, and add four new electric post-Panamax container cranes. Two of the four cranes arrived in 2018, and this past March, PhilaPort received two more super post-Panamax cranes at the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal. The fifth crane is due to arrive this summer.
In September 2017, the Allegheny County Airport Authority announced its plans for a $1.1 billion transformation project of the Pittsburgh International Airport. Recently ranked the Airport of the Year by Air Transport World, the airport will receive a new building for ticketing and security, a new parking garage, and a streamlined boarding facility. . This past February, approved concept designs — which focus on sustainability, among other features — for the improvements were unveiled. The next phase of the project, schematic design, is expected to run through summer 2019.
Companies can be confident that when they choose Pennsylvania, they are also choosing a reliable and extensive network of multimodal infrastructure that sustains business growth now and for years to come.
To learn more about Pennsylvania’s infrastructure, visit the DCED website. If you are interested in expanding or relocating your business in Pennsylvania, start the conversation with our Governor’s Action Team. Continue to stay up-to-date on all Pennsylvania company news by following us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, and by signing up for our monthly e-newsletter.
Dennis M. Davin was appointed to serve as Secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development in January 2015 by Governor Tom Wolf.
Prior to his appointment, Secretary Davin served for more than a decade as Director of the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development (ACED), where he was responsible for establishing and executing the economic development strategy for Allegheny County.