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Transportation and Highways (ADHS)

Image of Highway I-26 in Unicoi County near Erwin, Tennessee

Throughout much of its history, Appalachia suffered the economic consequences of physical isolation caused by its rugged terrain. A balanced, integrated, and efficient transportation system is critical to the Region's future economic success.

The Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS), a 3,090-mile system of modern highways that connects with the Interstate Highway System, is the cornerstone of ARC's transportation efforts. Now 90.5 percent complete, open to traffic, or under construction, the ADHS has stimulated economic and employment opportunity throughout the Appalachian Region.

Building on the foundation of the ADHS, ARC supports transportation activities aimed at improving travel within the Region as well as enhancing access to coastal cities and ports. Connecting Appalachia to both a domestic and a worldwide chain of suppliers and markets is essential to the economic and employment success of its businesses, communities, and people. By coordinating the ADHS with rail and inland waterway systems, Appalachia can help its existing businesses become more competitive and attract new businesses and employment to the Region.

ARC's transportation development strategies include

  • Completing the Appalachian Development Highway System;
  • Improving the capacity, efficiency, and responsiveness of Appalachia's railways, including the development of new intermodal corridors and critical short line rail links to smaller communities and rural areas;
  • Enhancing the growth and success of Appalachia's waterway navigation system, including obtaining Marine Highway Corridor designation for key inland navigation links;
  • Strengthening Appalachia's access to key coastal ports, which serve as Appalachian gateways to international commerce; and
  • Developing new intermodal terminals throughout the Region to better coordinate highway, rail, and inland navigation services and to ensure convenient access to the transportation system by Appalachia's businesses, communities, and people.


Transportation and Highways Links

Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS)
Access Road Program
Intermodal Transportation
Research Reports