Northeast Canam Connections: Integrating The Economy And Transportation

By Wilbur Smith Associates et al., with Economic Development Research Group et al., for a consortium of four US States and five Canadian Provinces, August 2009

Initiated by funding from US Congress as the "Northeast Border Corridor Study," four US states and five Canadian provinces agreed to cooperate in a study of joint challenges and opportunities spanning economic development and transportation. The focus of the study is on identifying and assessing opportunities to attract investment and to create jobs by promoting east-west trade corridors and improving multi-modal transportation access that can effectively increase competitiveness and capture new business investment for the region. The study was ultimately renamed: "Northeast CanAm Connections: Integrating the Economy and Transportation."

With increasing globalization of economic markets and trade, the need for cooperation between US states and Canadian provinces is magnified. The region’s economic development is also affected by transportation access and cost factors, including shape of the border along this region, the lack of east-west rail and highway connections across the region, and differences in truck regulation on both sides of the border.

Economic Development Research Group (EDRG) was hired as technical manager for study development and collaboration. This has included canvassing local, regional and state/provincial agencies about their economic development and transportation access priorities and issues, as well as convening an inter-agency meeting of federal, state/provincial and local leaders to help develop the collaboration process. EDRG, in its first phase effort, developed the basis for defining study purpose and objectives, developing formal inter-agency agreements and a scope of work for consultant studies. In the second phase, EDRG is serving as Technical Study Manager, working with a consultant team of Wilbur Smith Associates, HDR, iTrans, Davidson-Peterson and Stafford Business Advisors.