MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - What will Alabama's roadways, waterways, and railways look like in the year 2040?
The Alabama Department of Transportation wants your input and a consulting group is helping them update a federally mandated assessment.
River Region residents were invited to give their comments and ask questions regarding the proposal Thursday evening in Montgomery.
Whether you're talking about planes, trains or automobiles, stakeholders in the Alabama 2040 Statewide Transportation Plan have a vested interest in the future.
"Alabama's transportation is absolutely essential to its economic viability," said waterway industry representative Jerry Sailors.
ALDOT is updating their current plan to ensure that our transportation network meets the state's future growth and needs for the next 25 years.
"Its goal setting; it's looking at what the growth patterns will be, it's looking at how Alabama relates to the adjacent states and the nation as a whole economically, particularly with the movement of goods," said Rod Wilburn, the President of the consulting firm that ALDOT contracted.
Consultants say the macro level, long-range plan is an umbrella, in which more specific plans are developed, encompassing everything from our highways, transit systems, railways, and ports.
"All these modes of transportation are interrelated," said Sailors.
ALDOT is analyzing "what if" improvement scenarios and turning to the public for input.
"Baby boomers moved into the suburbs and it's a larger population and as they age, they still want to drive a pretty long way to get to, you know, a city center or something like that and how is that addressed?" asks senior citizen advocate Anne Hails.
Officials say it's hard to pinpoint exactly what transportation will look like in 2040 but goals include reduced congestion, safety, and innovation.
"Transit and bicycle and pedestrian improvements, a lot of interest in those two modes," said Wilburn.
Thursday's meeting represented the first phase of public comment with the second round kicking off with a draft proposal in April of 2017 and a final plan will be made available the following month.
For more information on the plan, contact Jim Doolin, ALDOT Transportation Planning and Modal Programs at 334-242-6097.
To have your comments added to the study list, you can email the study team at email@example.com.