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Rail News: Intermodal

Tampa port wins regional award for rail project; Florida DOT lands governor's award for cost savings

The Port of Tampa recently won the the Charles McIntosh Jr. Award of Distinction from the the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council for the $11 million Tampa Gateway rail project, which was dedicated in September 2012. The project also took first place in the Natural Resources and the Environment category.

The top honor in the council's 21st annual Future of the Region Awards, the McIntosh award recognizes projects that demonstrate regional quality-of-life and environmental benefits, innovation, cost-effectiveness, capacity for a continuing impact and a distinct regional vision.

In addition to meeting that criteria, the Tampa Gateway project "embodies a true spirit of partnership," Tampa Port Authority (TPA) officials said in a press release. The authority partnered with CSX Transportation, CSX Corp. subsidiary TRANSFLO and Kinder Morgan Energy Partners L.P. to create intermodal connectivity at the port, transforming it into a world-class intermodal hub and major trade catalyst in central Florida, they said.

The project involved the construction of a multipurpose rail terminal adjacent to the port's container terminal to accommodate 100-car unit trains of ethanol arriving from the Midwest, and other rail infrastructure to accommodate a range of general cargo.

"The rail project is a boon to the efficiency of the ethanol fuel sector and also creates an important enhancement between general cargoes, container activity and the port’s hinterland," TPA officials said.

Meanwhile, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) recently won a "Governor's Savings Award" from Gov. Rick Scott for eliminating more than two years' worth of obsolete and overlapping vendor services to save more than $5 million.

FDOT negotiated savings on five contracts that will generate $5.4 million in cost savings over the next five years. The cost reductions emerged from service surpluses in such areas as customer service systems, aerial photography, underwater bridge inspections, video image review processing and an overlapping electronic tolling contract.

"The work FDOT has done in generating $5 million in savings has allowed us to invest these dollars back into our ports and roads, " said Scott in a prepared statement.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/9/2013