Thursday, December 15, 2011

West Virginia Ports Authority awarded $12 million for Heartland Corridor terminal

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The West Virginia Ports Authority has been awarded $12 million by the U.S. Department of Transportation to construct a long-planned intermodal terminal along Norfolk Southern's Heartland Corridor near Prichard, W.Va.

"This is the king of jumpstarts for the economy of this area. With this new federal funding we are really picking up steam in our efforts to advance the Prichard Intermodal Facility," said U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. "The public-private investment between the state, the federal government and Norfolk Southern holds tremendous promise for diversifying the economy and creating welcome needed jobs."

The Prichard Intermodal Facility is being developed to serve as a cargo-transfer station along the Norfolk Southern rail line. Once completed, this facility would give industries in the tri-state area (West Virginia-Kentucky-Ohio) more modern and efficient freight container service and enhanced access to international rail lines.

"This is very good news for both West Virginia and Norfolk Southern. It means the state can move forward with a project that will spur economic growth in the region by taking advantage of the improvements we completed last year in the Heartland Corridor. We look forward to participating in that growth," said Norfolk Southern CEO Wick Moorman.

The Rahall Transportation Institute has been studying the potential of the Prichard facility and successfully launched a web-based survey that is seeking to identify opportunities to improve the economic competiveness of regional shippers and tap into the lucrative international freight markets. Early analysis suggests there is growing demand in intermodal traffic in the Huntington-Prichard marketplace.

The new $12 million grant is provided through DOT's Fiscal Year 2011 National Infrastructure Investments or TIGER III Discretionary Grants Program.

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