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Rail News: Intermodal

Broward County OKs container transfer facility pact with Florida East Coast


Yesterday, the Broward County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) to construct and operate an intermodal container transfer facility (ICTF) on a 42.5-acre site at Port Everglades.

The MOU calls for a 30-year agreement between the railroad and Broward County, with two 10-year renewal options. The county will contribute the land and participate in joint marketing efforts for the ICTF. FEC now will advance plans to secure an additional $30 million Florida Infrastructure Bank loan for the $72.8 million project, for which the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) will provide grants totaling $18 million. FEC equity will cover the remainder, according to the railroad.

The ICTF will facilitate the transfer of containerized cargo at the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-area port onto the railroad’s line via a connecting rail spur. Containers currently are handled on a 14-acre site owned by the FEC.

“A combined near-dock facility at the port should result in competitive transfer and shipping fees for port clients, thus increasing the port's competitive advantage compared to other ports,” county officials said in a prepared statement. “Positive environmental benefits are also envisioned by the reduction of truck traffic on local roadways, [and] by relocating from the smaller facility on Andrews Avenue, Route 84 highway congestion will also be reduced.”

In July, FDOT broke ground for the $42 million Eller Drive Overpass, the “critical first step” in moving the ICTF forward by facilitating the construction of an at-grade rail connection directly into the port’s Southport area, county and FEC officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/24/2011