Chesterton Tribune

 

 

I-80 a federally designated alternative fuel corridor

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I-80 in Indiana--from the Illinois state line to the Ohio--has been designated an alternative fuel and electric charging corridor, by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), South Shore Clean Cities has announced.

It is one of 55 routes that will serve as the basis for a national network of “alternative fuel” corridors spanning 35 states. That network is nearly 85,000 miles long but more miles will be added in the future to accommodate electric, hydrogen, propane, and natural gas vehicles as additional fueling and charging stations are built. South Shore Clean Cities said.

Last year the Town of Chesterton installed a two-stall electric charging station in Broadway, in the Downtown, in partnership with the Northern Indiana Public Service Company.

“Alternative fuels and electric vehicles will play an integral part in the future of America’s transportation system,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement released by USDOT. “We have a duty to help drivers identify routes that will help them refuel and recharge those vehicles and designating these corridors on our highways is a first step.”

Those corridors designated as “sign-ready,” meaning routes where alternative fuel stations are currently in operation, will be eligible to feature new signs alerting drivers where they can find fuel for their alternative fuel vehicles. These signs are similar to existing signage that alerts drivers to gas stations, food, and lodging. The designation of these corridors fulfills a directive in the “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation” (FAST) Act.

In July, Foxx called on states to nominate national plug-in electric vehicle (EV) charging and hydrogen, propane, and natural gas fueling corridors along major highways. The specific fuels were designated by Congress in the FAST Act.

“In 2015, the United States pledged to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80 percent or more by 2050,” the statement said. “By supporting lower-emission vehicles, alternative fuel corridors will help to reduce transportation emissions, the leading source of U.S. GHG emissions. According to new FHWA data, U.S. drivers consumed nearly 72 billion gallons of gasoline in the first half of 2016--a 3 percent increase over the same period a year earlier and the largest percentage increase in nearly two decades--and drove more than 3.15 trillion miles last year.”

“Identifying where alternative fueling stations can be found will help the public in many ways,” Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau said. “This initial designation sets the stage for the next round of nominations early next year and begins a conversation with stakeholders about developing and implementing a vision to enable coast to coast travel using alternative fuels.”

The new alternative fuel corridor signs were designed to be easily recognizable. The new signs, and a list of the new sign-ready corridors, can be reviewed at www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/alternative_fuel_corridors

South Shore Clean Cities was founded on the principle that motivated individuals working together for common goals best accomplish our nation’s objective of improving air quality, developing regional economic opportunities, and reducing the use of imported oil. Contact Carl Lisek at South Shore Clean Cities at (219) 644-3690 or clisek@southshorecleancities.org for more information about this project.

 

 

Posted 11/4/2016

 
 
 
 

 

 

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