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CN announced today it will spend $60 million across Louisiana and $50 million across Mississippi on infrastructure projects this year.
In Louisiana, the dollars will go toward a multiyear project to rebuild the McComb Spillway Bridge. In addition, crews will replace 6 miles of rail, install 20,000 new ties, rebuild 21 grade crossing surfaces, and perform maintenance work on bridges, crossings, culverts, signaling and track.
Over the past five years, CN has spent more than $280 million on capital investments in Louisiana, where the railroad employs 328 people. It operates 227 miles of rail in the state.
CN's capital expenditures are aimed at creating greater capacity, which supports reductions in customers' transportation supply-chain greenhouse emissions by encouraging the use of rail for long-haul needs, CN officials said in a press release. The railroad will continue to deploy safety enhancing technologies across its network, including autonomous track inspection, distributed air cars and automated inspection portals, they said. At the southern terminus of CN's North American network, Louisiana handles growing volumes of traffic, most notably in the triangle formed by Hammond, Baton Route and the Port of New Orleans. CN's major yards are in Baton Rouge, Geismar, Harrahan (Mays Yard) outside of New Orleans. At Mays Yard, CN connects to the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad. CN also has an intermodal facility in New Orleans.
Meanwhile, in Mississippi, CN's $50 million in planned capital expenditures will focus on implementing positive train control, replacing 12 miles of rail, installing 125,000 ties, rebuilding 31 crossing surfaces and performing maintenance work on bridges, crossings, culverts, signaling and track.
CN has spent more than $365 million on infrastructure in Mississippi over the past five years. The railroad employs 459 people and operates 575 route miles in the state. The railroad's network criss-crosses the state, with a rail yard in Jackson serving as a hub for petroleum heading to the state's western area, coal moving east to Alabama, grain shipping to the Gulf Coast for export and chemical products heading north to the Midwest. CN also has an automotive distribution facility that serves the Nissan assembly plant in Canton.
The investments in both states "are a key part of our strategy to support growth," said Derek Taylor, vice president of CN's Eastern region.
Last week, CN rolled out its 2020 infrastructure plans for Wisconsin and Michigan.