Moffatt & Nichol has been selected by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to provide strategic planning support for its new Network Appalachia initiative, designed to strengthen Appalachia’s access to the global marketplace of the 21st century.

ARC’s Network Appalachia initiative will develop a comprehensive strategy to enhance the global reach of the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS) through improving intermodal connections and strengthening the region’s access to major Atlantic and Gulf ocean ports. The 3,090-mile ADHS is America’s only highway system authorized by Congress for the purpose of stimulating economic development.

The proposed planning methodology builds on Moffatt & Nichol’s depth of experience in the international port and freight sector to develop a detailed analysis of trade flows in the region, identify the drivers of these flows, and forecast the outlook for the future. From this comprehensive analytical framework, Moffatt & Nichol will develop strategies to improve and strengthen Appalachia’s links to the global supply chain in a way to enhance the global competitiveness of the region’s existing businesses, while also attracting new enterprise and employment into the region. Featuring a mix of transportation, international trade, and economic development interests, the project provides a unique regional opportunity to strengthen physical and institutional links between increasingly congested coastal ports and their neighboring inland partners, offering the capacity and need for economic growth.

The Appalachia Regional Commission is a regional economic development agency representing a partnership of federal, state, and local interests. ARC’s 200,000-square-mile inland region follows the spine of the Appalachian Mountains from southern New York to northern Mississippi and is home to 23 million residents.