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The Port Corpus Christi Commission (PCCA) last week awarded a $12.7 million contract to Haas-Anderson Construction Ltd. to build the Nueces River Rail Yard.In June 2012, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded a $10 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) IV grant to the Port of Corpus Christi, Texas, for the yard's first phase. The project includes the construction of an 8,000-foot siding for unit trains and a four-ladder track interchange yard totaling 15,400 track feet designed to accommodate more than 335 rail cars.The Port of Corpus Christi Authority will provide $8 million for the $18 million project, recovering about half of the allocation from a surcharge that will be assessed to railroads.Due to a dramatic increase in rail traffic at the port over the past five years and the removal of the Tule Lake Lift Bridge, the need for additional rail facilities in the inner harbor has become critical to port operations and to attract new industries, PCCA officials said in a press release. A rail master plan identified a new main interchange yard at the harbor's west end as the No. 1 priority, they said.Over the past three years, the PCCA has approved several agreements and contracts related to the yard project, including funding agreements with three Class Is and Rail Link Inc. (Corpus Christi Terminal Railroad), the port's local switching company. The port is served by BNSF Railway Co., Kansas City Southern and Union Pacific Railroad."The new rail yard will greatly benefit all our existing customers as well as new industry," said PCCA Chairman Mike Carrell. "This project could not be possible without the funding from the TIGER grant and the commitment of the three Class I railroads serving the port and Rail Link."