Caltrans announced Tuesday it is seeking direction from residents of Riverside County and the rest of the state on how to improve the movement of freight while maintaining environmental and health standards.

Caltrans is slated to hold a workshop in the Riverside area on May 17 concerning the California Freight Mobility Plan 2019. The time and location will be announced later this month.

According to state officials, the plan is due for its first major update since 2014, and all stakeholders — from railroad operators to community activists and commuters — are being invited to weigh in regarding priorities.

“Our freight system faces much of the same issues as the state highway system — congestion and questions about how to make it more environmentally and economically sustainable,” Caltrans Director Laurie Berman said. “Freight movement is critical to our economy, generating about $2.2 trillion each year, and the amount moving through California is expected to continue to grow.”

Roughly 40 percent of all goods exported from the Pacific Rim to the United States are received at California ports and shipped east.

Under the federal Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, freight mobility plans in each state must be refined to meet ongoing challenges.

Each plan has to address safety, air quality, expansion of freight corridors to enhance the logistics system and other components, according to Caltrans.

The mobility plans are necessary to qualify for federal grants.

Anyone interested in submitting a comment or obtaining updates on where public workshops are planned should contact Caltrans at cfmp@dot.ca.gov.

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