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The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) has awarded a grant to the Birmingham-Jefferson County Port Authority toward the construction of an indoor storage facility at the Port of Birmingham.
The port authority is providing $1.1 million for the $1.9 million project with Watco covering the balance and providing the property, Watco officials said in a press release. Grant funds were awarded as part of the Alabama Inland Port Infrastructure Program.
Located on the Black Warrior River, the multimodal port features five barge docks, 144 rail-car spots and a direct-to-truck barge station. The port provides rail access to three Class Is — BNSF Railway Co., CSX and Norfolk Southern Railway — with the capacity to handle unit trains via Watco's Birmingham Terminal Railway.
Groundbreaking on the project is expected to begin during this quarter, Watco officials said.
"This project signifies a lot of work between a public and private entity to help develop additional transportation capacity and capability in the central Alabama region," said Watco Vice President K.R. McKenzie.