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Appalachian Development Highways System (ADHS)

Access Road Program

Intermodal Transportation

Research Reports

Transportation Roadmap
(PDF: 1.7 MB)

Quality of Access

Transportation access is generally the ability of residents and businesses to reach desired opportunities and services. For resident, opportunities and services may include employment, education, medical facilities, and recreation. For businesses, opportunities and services may include employees, suppliers, and markets. There are numerous factors which influence this ability to reach opportunities and services, including degree of isolation (geographic, social, and digital) and quality, affordability, comfort, and reliability of transportation choices.

Throughout much of its history, Appalachia has 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.

ARC recently completed a Transportation Roadmap outlining it's vision, mission, and goals related to transportation. Key aspects of the Roadmap are below.

Vision for Transportation in Appalachia

The transportation system throughout the Appalachian Region provides safe, efficient, and reliable multimodal access to opportunities, services, and markets for all residents, businesses and visitors, enabling Appalachia to achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.

ARC's Transportation Mission

In conjunction with ARC's overall mission and Goal 3 of the ARC Strategic Plan (Critical Infrastructure), provide leadership and facilitate progress in addressing transportation challenges which impact economic growth in the Appalachian Region by collaborating with partners, innovating, investing, and conducting research.

ARC's Transportation Goals

  1. Improve resident and visitor access to opportunities and services.
  2. Improve business access to supplies, labor, and domestic and global markets.

ARC's Strategic Role in Transportation

  • Lead – Strive to be a leader in understanding the connection between transportation and economic development in Appalachia and assist local, state, regional, and national partners in appropriately considering and addressing this connection.
  • Inform – Inform, educate, and remind transportation practitioners about the economic disparities in Appalachia, the importance of transportation access in helping resolve economic disparities in Appalachia, and the role transportation agencies can play in addressing these issues.
  • Connect – Connect transportation practitioners in the Appalachian Region with ARC partners and facilitate discussions to incorporate economic development considerations into transportation decision making.
  • Facilitate – Coordinate meetings, lead discussions, gather information, and facilitate problem resolution to implement projects and activities.
  • Research – Conduct research regarding the uniqueness and condition of transportation in Appalachia and the connection between transportation issues and economic development in Appalachia.
  • Support – Develop guidance and provide technical assistance to transportation practitioners in Appalachia so that economic development impacts are more appropriately considered as part of the transportation decision making process.
  • Fund – Provide ARC funding when possible and assist local and state partners to identify and compete for non-ARC funding sources that can help improve transportation access in Appalachia.