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Rail News: Intermodal

Florida intermodal facility, Illinois passenger-rail projects land TIGER III grants


Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) announced the Jacksonville Port Authority will receive a $10 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery III (TIGER III) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to help fund an Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) at the Port of Jacksonville, Fla. (JaxPort).

The port authority had sought a $25 million TIGER III grant for the proposed $45 million ICTF, which would be built at the Dames Point Marine Terminal. The authority also is seeking funds from the state of Florida.
To be served by CSX Transportation, the ICTF would be used to transfer containerized cargo from ships to rail cars, reducing truck miles and exhaust emissions, and trimming highway maintenance costs, authority officials previously stated in a grant application announcement. Targeted for completion in late 2014, the facility also would make Jacksonville a more competitive transportation hub and help the port take advantage of increased usage of the Suez Canal and soon-to-be-expanded Panama Canal, they claim.

“This new transfer facility will allow JaxPort to better compete with other ports around the world since the funding will allow them to transfer cargo off the port to its final location via rail in a quicker and more efficient manner,” said Brown in a prepared statement. “This is a win-win for the city, the port and for our transportation system.”

Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.), Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and city of Alton Mayor Tom Hoechst yesterday announced two TIGER III grants totaling $33.85 million that will help fund two passenger-rail projects in Illinois.

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will receive a $20 million grant for its Blue Line/Chicago Bike Share program. The authority will use the proceeds to repair 3.6 miles of track on the Blue Line between Damen and Belmont avenues to complete all track improvements between Chicago’s Downtown Loop and O’Hare International Airport. The project targets deteriorated track that has not yet been completed so the CTA can shorten headways between trains. The grant also help fund a planned bike-sharing program designed to provide riders access to bike-share facilities at and around CTA rail and bus stations.

The Madison County Transit Board of Trustees and city of Alton will receive a $13.85 million TIGER III grant to help fund a multi-modal transportation center that will be built in conjunction with a new Amtrak high-speed intercity passenger-rail station in Alton. The center will make it more convenient for people in the area who wish to access Amtrak’s new 110-mph service, said Hoechst in a prepared statement. The grant also will help fund work to provide roadway and pedestrian access to the new Amtrak station.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/13/2011