The Department of Transportation wrapped up negotiations with Alabama and Tennessee for a $105 million federal stimulus grant to help build intermodal terminals for Norfolk Southern Railway’s Crescent Corridor double-stack plan.
That grant was the largest the DOT awarded last Feb. 17, when on the first anniversary of the signing of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood spread $1.5 billion among 51 projects of national or regional significance.
Much of that money has remained in limbo as the DOT, states and other parties negotiated detailed accords on how to implement projects. But the DOT has been pushing hard in the final weeks of 2010 to conclude agreements.
This month it also concluded deals to spend a $98 million stimulus grant on the National Gateway intermodal corridor CSX Transportation is developing in the East, and $33.8 million to untangle the busy Colton Crossing in Southern California.
NS envisions the 2,500-mile Crescent Corridor to stretch from New Orleans and Memphis, Tenn., into the Northeast, with new hub facilities feeding into a route where improvements will permit taller and faster trains hauling intermodal containers and trailers.
The $105 million will be split evenly to help develop a 261-acre intermodal terminal 20 miles southwest of Birmingham and a 380-acre site about 27 miles east of downtown Memphis. The grant covers roughly half the costs and NS, with help from other sources, will pay the rest.
“By diverting 1.3 million commercial trucks from interstates, the Crescent Corridor will greatly improve air quality along the route, reduce traffic congestion and generate significant fuel savings,” the DOT said.
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