ORDC Signs Series of Agreements to Get National Gateway Rolling from Ohio to East Coast
Columbus, OH – Ohio continues to grow as a critical hub and corridor for the world’s movement of freight with the signing of a series of agreements that allows engineering and construction to get underway on a key portion of the $183-million dollar, multi-state CSX National Gateway project.
The joint agreements involve CSX, the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Eastern Federal Lands Division as well as the states of West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
The news comes as CSX is about to open its new intermodal freight container yard at North Baltimore, Ohio, which will serve the National Gateway corridor. The 500-acre, state-of-the-art facility is scheduled to officially open in the first quarter of 2011 and will employ approximately 200 full-time employees upon completion, with 60 positions to be filled by the January 2011opening according to the railroad. Another 2,600 jobs could be spun off from the yard, according to a Cambridge Systematics study commissioned by CSX.
“CSX is committed to working with Ohio to make the National Gateway a reality. This critical infrastructure project will stimulate the State’s economy, create jobs and reduce carbon emissions,” said Louis Renjel, vice president of strategic infrastructure initiatives for CSX. “The clearance projects, coupled with the new state-of-the-art terminal in Northwest Ohio will revolutionize Ohio’s freight transportation system with increased capacity, efficiency and competitiveness.”
The initial portion of the National Gateway project will raise clearances to create a double-stack container rail corridor from Ohio through West Virginia, Pennsylvania and in to Maryland. In total, 40 clearance projects will be completed, including track lowering, bridge replacements, raisings or removals and work on several tunnels to create greater clearance for the taller double-stack trains.
CSX estimates the project will create 10,000 construction jobs.
It is also a project made complex by the fact it involves the private sector, the State of Ohio and several state governments and two federal agencies. But the ORDC’s structure is designed to engage in public-private partnerships from National Gateway to local rail spur projects that enable new and existing Ohio businesses to grow both business and jobs.
"ORDC’s structure allows us to play a critical role in the development of this project that once again reinforces the importance of Ohio's position in country's logistics and supply chains”, says ORDC Executive Director Matt Dietrich. “We couldn't be happier with the partnerships we have established with CSX, the other states and FHWA EFLD. Without this team effort, this project could not become a reality."
National Gateway Fact Sheet (courtesy CSX)
The National Gateway delivers nearly $1.7 billion of public benefits to Ohio by:
v Reducing CO2 emissions by almost 2 million tons
v Expanding rail market access potential for the State
v Enhancing rail transportation infrastructure, including a new intermodal terminal in Northwest Ohio and planned terminal expansion in Columbus
v Reducing the State's highway congestion by combining the efficiency of freight rail with trucking for a complete intermodal solution, saving nearly $70 million in highway maintenance costs
v Saving over $350 million in logistics costs for the State