CSX Corporation hosted a dedication ceremony for the new Fifth Street Bridge in Niles, Ohio. The upgraded bridge's higher vertical clearance helps clear the way for CSX's upgraded, double-stack freight rail corridor, the National Gateway, linking East Coast sea ports with the CSX Northwest Ohio Terminal and other Midwest distribution and manufacturing hubs.
The $1.4 million composite steel bridge was paid for through a combination of funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and CSX. It is one of the first fully completed clearance projects in Ohio being undertaken as part of the National Gateway, an approximately $850 million infrastructure public-private partnership.
“The Fifth Street Bridge is a perfect example of local economic growth driven by private and public investment in our nation’s infrastructure,” said Niles Mayor Ralph Infante, Jr. “This new, modern bridge is a welcome addition to our community and an exciting symbol of the future of the American freight transportation investments needed to keep communities such as ours positioned to compete domestically and internationally.”
The bridge is one of a number of clearances that will allow double-stack freight rail access to CSX’s new Northwest Ohio Terminal, a 185-acre freight distribution hub and the nerve center of CSX’s nationwide intermodal network. Located near North Baltimore, Ohio, the new facility employs more than 200 full-time employees and serves as the transfer point for hundreds of thousands of freight containers annually.
The National Gateway improvement projects will increase the vertical clearances at 61 locations on CSX rail lines in the region to accommodate intermodal trains carrying double-stack intermodal containers. To date, 14 locations including the Fifth Street Bridge have been cleared on the existing CSX rail corridor between North Baltimore, Ohio and Chambersburg, Pa., keeping Phase One of the project on track for Spring 2013 completion.