Washington, D.C. – January 27, 2011 – The National Gateway, an award-winning freight transportation public private partnership dedicated to enhancing the economy and improving the environment, today said it is already working to help achieve the job and infrastructure investment goals outlined in President Obama’s State of the Union address.
“America is the nation that built the transcontinental railroad, brought electricity to rural communities, and constructed the interstate highway system,” President Obama declared in his State of the Union address. “Over the last two years, we have begun rebuilding for the 21st century, a project that has meant thousands of good jobs for the hard-hit construction industry. Tonight, I’m proposing that we redouble these efforts.”
The National Gateway has begun construction on projects that will support President Obama’s goals by expanding the flow of freight on a double-stack cleared intermodal rail network between East Coast seaports and the Midwest. Double-stack trains deliver twice as many goods on one trip, resulting in improved efficiency and cost savings. In addition, the National Gateway will generate more than 50,000 new jobs over a 30-year period with almost 10,000 of these jobs created during the initial construction phase that is already underway. Many more long-term jobs will support and maintain the movement of double-stack freight containers and intermodal transfers at new facilities such as the Northwest Ohio Terminal Facility which is scheduled to open in spring 2011. The project also supports the growth of new and existing businesses which will benefit from better intermodal transportation options made possible by the National Gateway.
“The National Gateway delivers tremendous value to the American people by allowing the public sector to leverage their funds with private capital to address pressing infrastructure needs,” said Louis Renjel, vice president of strategic infrastructure initiatives, CSX Transportation. “The National Gateway will help boost America’s economy today and position America to ‘win the future’ by enhancing our country’s ability to compete in a highly competitive global marketplace.”
The National Gateway earned recognition last year from both the federal government and independent groups. In addition to a $98 million TIGER grant, the National Gateway was named one of North America’s top 100 strategic infrastructure projects.
The National Gateway is expected to cost $842 million and is being funded through an innovative public-private partnership in which public funds committed to the project are matched by more than $400 million in private funding. The public investment will pay dividends very quickly. The National Gateway provides more than $10 billion in public benefits in the route’s first 30 years of operation with $22 in public benefits generated for every $1 of public money invested.
“Population growth over the coming years will make challenges like our dependence on oil, traffic congestion and air pollution much more difficult. The National Gateway is a clean energy solution, which will allow one train to carry the load of 280 trucks and move a ton of freight nearly 500 miles on a single gallon of diesel,” said Renjel.