Infrastructure and Connection
According to the August 2010, final draft of the Niagara Frontier Urban Area Transportation Study completed by Wilbur Smith Associates for the Greater Buffalo-Niagara Regional Transportation Council (GBNRTC),
“One look at a highway map of New York State highlights that the region doesn’t have direct highway access to markets to the south. As an example, the most direct route from Buffalo or Toronto to the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and points south involves traveling on US 219 through New York and much of Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, most of this route is on a two-lane roadway south of Springville, N.Y. The alternative is to travel east or west from the Buffalo-Niagara region to pick up the nearest north-south interstate connection. This situation would be improved with the completion of the Continental 1 Corridor, a new limited access highway corridor includes a variety of existing and proposed routes originating in the Niagara region of Ontario, Canada and continuing through the states of New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, to the Miami, Florida area. Including all potential alignments it is approximately 1, 855 miles long. Within a 50-mile bandwidth, it encompasses some portions of 114 counties (including several independent cities in Virginia”.
Wilbur Smith Associates completed the Continental 1 Transportation Corridor Analysis in 2007. This report found that New York could clearly benefit from the corridor. One important strategic opportunity of the proposed corridor that was identified as positive results from the connectivity between Maryland/Virginia port gateways and the Buffalo/Niagara border. Completion of the corridor could improve access and mobility between these gateways and could generate additional economic development along the corridor—particularly in New York and Pennsylvania. In addition, the ports in Maryland and Virginia could potentially realize additional growth potential.
Continental 1 will create an enhanced and more efficient infrastructure system starting in Toronto and heading down south to Miami, two major economic ports. The four-lane highway would cross the line of two major U.S. rail carriers and 14 east-west arterial interstate highway systems, providing in-land access to all major East Coast air and marine ports. Efficient domestic and international connections translate into greater market access both for export and import of goods.
Continental 1 will serve the growing needs of communities, which now are difficult for emergency vehicles to access, including the Marcellus Shale region and all of its related jobs ands industries.