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Rail News: Intermodal

Cleveland port authority awards rail loop contract, notes 2011 traffic gains


The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority’s board recently contracted Great Lakes Construction Co. to construct an on-dock rail loop at the Port of Cleveland. The $3.9 million contract calls for building 5,500 feet of additional track.

The rail loop will connect existing on-dock tracks, providing two Class Is access to the entire general cargo facility and enhancing rail-to-ship and ship-to-rail cargo handling capabilities, port authority officials said in a prepared statement. Cleveland Commercial Railroad Co. L.L.C. will manage the scheduling and operations of the port’s expanded rail system, and market it to area companies.

“This expanded rail service will give local companies more efficient and cost-effective shipping options, and better position the port to handle more rail cars at one time, increase exports and reach customers in a broader geographic area,” port authority officials said.

Slated for completion by October’s end, the project mostly will be funded by a $3 million Ohio Department of Development loan. The port will cover the remainder from its capital budget.

The authority also announced that the port handled 3.4 million tons of cargo last year, up 31 percent from 2010’s total and the highest volume since 2008.

The gain was driven by growth in steel, iron-ore and oversized “project” cargo handled by port facilities, authority officials said. General cargo volume rose 16 percent and bulk cargo jumped 33 percent.

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More News from 1/30/2012