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CSXT prepares major bridge, track projects in Ohio

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CSX Transportation Inc. will raise and remove bridges and lower railroad tracks throughout Northeast Ohio starting next year as part of its $840 million National Gateway plan, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. The local work includes removing the Park Street bridge in Akron, replacing the Knapp Road bridge in Ravenna and raising the Portage County Hike & Bike Trail in Kent.

The overall project is
designed to improve container shipping between mid-Atlantic ports and the
Midwest. The work in Northeast Ohio will provide more bridge clearance so the
railroad can carry double-stack trains – a move that will help take trucks off
the highways, saving fuel and shipping costs, CSX said.

”We think it’s an exciting
project and one that will provide many benefits for Ohio and indeed the
American economy,” CSXT spokesman Bob Sullivan said.

He estimated that the
railroad company, and the state and federal governments, are spending $235
million in Ohio.

As part of the project, CSXT
started construction earlier this year on the Northwest Ohio Intermodal
Terminal, a $175-million rail facility in Wood County south of Bowling Green.

CSXT and the Ohio
Department of Transportation District 4 hosted an open house in Rootstown
Township to update the public about the local projects. Officials said they
don’t expect any major impact on local residents.

The local projects are:

Akron: Lower the tracks at
Thornton Street and the University of Akron overhead walkway and remove the
bridge at Park Street.

”We’re supportive of the work,”
Akron Service Director Richard Merolla said. ”The Park Street bridge needed to
come down anyway. I don’t think anybody will miss it.”

Harrisville Township: The
tentative plan is to remove the Pawnee Road bridge and replace the Rivers
Corners Road bridge.

Kent: Lower the tracks at
the Wheeling & Lake Erie railroad bridge and Main Street bridge and raise the
Portage County Hike & Bike Trail and ABC railroad bridge.

Ravenna: Lower the tracks
at Norfolk Southern railroad bridge; replace the Knapp Road bridge.

Westfield Township: Replace
the Mud Lake Road bridge.

The work will begin next
year and continue for three years, officials said. Specific construction dates
have not been set, they said.

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