NORFOLK, Va. — Lead state Pennsylvania, joined by Alabama, Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi and North Carolina, have applied for federal money under the TIGER II Discretionary Grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The application seeks $109.2 million in support of new and expanded independent intermodal facilities in Harrisburg and Philadelphia, Pa., and Charlotte, N.C., along with track and signal improvements in Alabama, Tennessee and Virginia.
“On behalf of Norfolk Southern, I commend and thank our partners for their recognition of the value the Crescent Corridor offers their states,” Norfolk Southern CEO Wick Moorman said. “The Crescent Corridor Program is a tremendous economic advantage for the 15 states directly affected and the U.S. as a whole.
“It will create jobs and generate business growth, while delivering substantial public benefits for communities and customers,” Moorman added. “Govs. Ed Rendell, Bob Riley, Bob McDonnell, Phil Bredesen, Haley Barbour and Bev Perdue are national leaders in demonstrating how public-private partnerships can create safe, practical, green improvements to America’s transportation infrastructure.”
The Crescent Corridor is a program of improvements to infrastructure and other facilities geared toward creating a high capacity 2,500 mile intermodal route spanning from New Jersey to Louisiana that touches 26 percent of the nation’s population and 30 percent of the nation’s manufacturing output. It provides the shortest intermodal double stack route between the South and the Northeast. When fully operational it will handle more rail freight traffic faster and more reliably, creating or benefiting some 73,000 green jobs by 2030, and producing these estimated annual benefits:
— 1.3 million long-haul trucks diverted from interstates
— $141 million in accident avoidance savings1.8 million tons in CO2 reduction
— $565 million in congestion savings
— $262 million in highway maintenance savings
— 163 million gallons in fuel savings
The Crescent Corridor program of projects is estimated to cost $2.5 billion for full development. Crescent Corridor projects currently planned for development include new independent intermodal facilities at Birmingham, Ala., Charlotte, N.C., Memphis, Tenn., and Franklin County, Pa.; the expansion of intermodal terminals in Harrisburg and Philadelphia, Pa.; and the addition of freight rail capacity in Virginia and Mississippi.
In addition to facility investments, the program includes significant investments in rail route improvements consisting of additional passing tracks, double track projects, improved signaling systems and other track speed enhancements.
According to the six partner states in their TIGER II application, “The Crescent Corridor Program is one of the most attractive projects in the USDOT’s infrastructure portfolio due to its modest cost, the speed at which it can be built, the significant annual return on investment, and the widespread support it has at all levels of government and as well from the private sector.”