WASHINGTON, D.C. – A central Ohio freight terminal will be expanded due to new investments by CSX. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) applauded today’s announcement that the National Gateway Project will be expanded, linking central Ohio to east coast ports and expanding market opportunities for Columbus-area businesses. CSX announced today that a $59 million intermodal terminal expansion is underway. CSX’s investment follows Recovery Act funds awarded to the National Gateway Project, with the goal of providing rail infrastructure linking Midwestern markets with Mid-Atlantic ports.
“CSX’s Intermodal Terminal, as part of the National Gateway Project, is a prime example of how Recovery Act funds can be leveraged to add new jobs and spur economic development,” Brown said. “Central Ohio is a great place to do business and this investment will not only create construction jobs now, but will allow central Ohio companies to expand operations and hire workers.”
In September 2009, Brown sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in support of the National Gateway project grant application. The Intermodal Terminal is part of the National Gateway Project, which was supported by $30 million in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) funds, a U.S. Department of Transportation program that originated in the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009. The National Gateway Project is aimed at building an efficient rail route linking Mid-Atlantic ports with Midwestern markets through rail infrastructure and intermodal terminal projects. The improvements will allow trains to carry double-stacked containers, increase freight capacity and make the corridor more marketable to major East Coast ports and shippers. In total, CSX received $98 million in TIGER funds to help build the National Gateway Project, with Ohio receiving $30 million of that.
According to CSX, the Columbus project includes a redesign of the site footprint, installation and realignment of tracks, reconfiguration of inbound and outbound truck gates, additional onsite parking, and three, high-tech, rail-mounted, electric wide-span cranes. The wide-span cranes will operate with zero emissions and regenerate power back to the terminal grid or to the electric utility.
Today’s announcement is the second investment in Ohio under the National Gateway project. In June 2011, CSX opened an intermodal terminal in North Baltimore that will handle more than 30 trains per day and move close to 2 million containers and trailers per year.