WASHINGTON — The National Gateway has been awarded $98 million in funding from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Discretionary Grant program, part of the so-called American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The federal funds invested in this project will immediately be put to work alongside state and private funds to drive direct and long-lasting benefits in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina — as well as the rest of the nation, officials said.
“This grant is a validation of the benefits of freight rail and the prominent role that railroads play in growing our economy and protecting our environment,” said Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, whose state served as lead sponsor for the National Gateway TIGER application. “With anticipated freight growth of 70 percent over the next two decades, the National Gateway is a timely and critical investment in our transportation infrastructure.”
The National Gateway is an $842 million, multi-state public-private infrastructure initiative dedicated to reducing congestion on the roads and highways, lowering transportation emissions, and conserving energy. This important project enhances freight capacity by creating a highly efficient double-stack rail corridor between East Coast sea ports and consumption centers and Midwest distribution centers, improving the nation’s economy and environment.
Trains can move a ton of freight more than 436 miles on a single gallon of fuel, making rail transportation at least three times more fuel-efficient than alternatives. By converting over 14 billion highway miles to double-stacked rail cars, the National Gateway will enable shippers to save over $3.5 billion in shipping costs, reduce fuel consumption by nearly 2 billion gallons and lower CO2 emissions by almost 20 million tons, officials said.