The Port of Corpus Christi Authority yesterday finalized funding agreements totaling about $48 million for rail yard improvements.
The port, state of Texas, U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and four railroads will cover costs for the project, which is slated to begin in 18 to 24 months. For the first phase of construction at the Nueces River yard, the USDOT will provide a $10 million grant and the port will allocate $3.7 million. BNSF Railway Co., Kansas City Southern, Union Pacific Railroad and the Corpus Christi Terminal Railroad will provide $4.1 million via per-car surcharges.
The first phase calls for building 1.5 miles of track to store a 110-car train, 2.8 miles of track to store an additional 252 rail cars, a 750-foot service track and service road. The second phase — which will be financed by $23.8 million from the Texas Department of Transportation and $7 million from the port — involves the construction of 7.6 more miles of track.
The expanded rail capacity will help relieve a cargo bottleneck and accommodate volume growth driven by Eagle Ford Shale oil and gas drilling operations, according to the port authority. The port's rail traffic is projected to increase 4 percent annually.
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