MCCALLA, Ala. — Norfolk Southern CEO Wick Moorman and Alabama Gov. Robert Bentleyjoined state and local officials and business leaders to officially break ground on the new Birmingham Regional Intermodal Facility here.
The $97.5 million facility is part of the railroad’s multi-state Crescent Corridor initiative to establish an efficient, high-capacity intermodal freight rail route between the Gulf Coast and the Northeast. It occupies a 316-acre site adjacent to the Jefferson Metropolitan Park in McCalla and is expected to open in late 2012.
“The Birmingham Regional Intermodal Facility is ideally located to serve the Southeast and is a critical component of our Crescent Corridor,” said Moorman. “We thank Secretary LaHood and USDOT for their efforts to form public-private partnerships to create jobs and economic development opportunities. We commend Gov. Bentley and his administration for their awareness of the economic and environmental benefits this facility brings to Alabama. Finally, we recognize the Alabama Department of Transportation, the Alabama Development Office, the Jefferson County Commissioners, the Jefferson County Economic and Industrial Development Authority, the Birmingham MPO, and the Birmingham Business Alliance for their active participation in the planning of this project.”
“The Birmingham Regional Intermodal Facility will bring significant economic growth to McCalla and thousands of jobs to Alabamians. As our economy is regaining strength, companies like Norfolk Southern recognize Alabama is a great place to do business,” said Governor Bentley at the ceremony. “This new terminal will enable goods to move more quickly throughout the country.”
The Birmingham Regional Intermodal Facility is expected to create or enhance 8,600 jobs in central Alabama over the next 10 years, and its capacity will grow to handle 165,000 containers and trailers annually. The terminal will utilize the latest in gate and terminal automation technology, which shortens the waiting time for trucks entering the terminal, improving truck driver productivity and air quality. Additionally, state-of-the-art low emission cranes and hostler tractors will operate within the terminal.
In 2010, the Birmingham Regional Intermodal Facility was selected to participate in the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES™) Pilot Program. This national initiative, a partnership of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the U.S. Botanical Garden, in conjunction with stakeholder organizations including the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), seeks to establish and encourage sustainable practices throughout each phase of a landscape’s design, construction, operation, and maintenance periods. NS also will construct the main administrative building to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification standards.