Photo by Loy Elliott

Farm Fields to Warehouses: Economic Development Along the I-81 Corridor

The nation’s love of buying products online creates the need for warehouses along I-81, the main truck route to the northeast. An additional 8 million square feet of distribution warehousing space is anticipated soon for Franklin County, adding an estimated 1,600 daily truck trips to I-81. While the I-81 corridor presents the opportunity to grow, and the Transportation & Warehousing Industry has a valued place in the economic development strategy of southcentral Pennsylvania, many residents feel that it disproportionately degrades our quality of life when compared to other key industries. Many local residents are concerned with the increased traffic, loss of prime agricultural soil, low air quality, and the temporary and moderate-to-low paying jobs associated with the current Transportation & Warehousing Industry. Because the industry is so visible on the landscape, removes prime agricultural soils from production, and impacts local residents in daily activities, it is critical to manage future growth so as to maintain our high quality of life for which the South Mountain landscape region is known.

Dr. George Pomeroy, Professor and Associate Director of Shippensburg University’s Center for Land Use and Sustainability, will present information necessary for our communities to understand why our area is a leader in the Transportation & Warehousing Industry, its sustainability, and its future outlook, as well as the aff ect of the industry on our resident’s quality of life, associated land use issues, and viable planning solutions. Dr. Pomeroy co-authored the 2008 report, “Economic and Transportation Impact of Warehousing on Rural Pennsylvania,” that explored in depth the impact of warehouses and the concurrent increase in trucking on employment, lifestyle, and the economy in rural Pennsylvania counties.

In collaboration with Renfew Institute and the Center for Land Use and Sustainability at Shippensburg University.

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