The Port of Mobile will be connected to an intermodal facility inland following the announcement of a new $71 million rail initiative from the Alabama state governor.
Governor Kay Ivey announced the creation of the A-USA Corridor, a proposed $231.6 million program of rail projects to upgrade economic development infrastructure in central and southern Alabama.
The first phase of the A-USA Corridor initiative involves a $71.6 million initiative to link the Port of Mobile with the McCalla Intermodal Facility near Birmingham.
This 450km (280 mile) rail corridor will also link mega economic development sites in Etowah (Little Canoe Creek), Shelby (Calera) and Washington/Mobile (Calvert) counties, each totaling more than 1,000 acres.
Phase One of the A-USA Corridor project involves 12 specific track, signal and yard improvements on Norfolk Southern rail lines between Mobile, Selma and Birmingham.
A fourth site in Jefferson County (McCalla) will see the development of a 104-acre site with up to a million square-feet of warehousing under roof.
Norfolk Southern has already partnered with the state and local economic development authorities by investing $5.7 million to the Etowah County Commission for improvements to the Little Canoe Creek site.
The A-USA Corridor is a public-private partnership with Norfolk Southern funding more than 50% of the project.
The State of Alabama is investing $5 million into the project, with the remainder coming from present and future federal Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program (CRISI) grants through the Alabama Department of Transportation, in partnership with Norfolk Southern.
John C. Driscoll, Director and CEO of the Alabama Port Authority, said, “The Alabama Port Authority welcomes this vital project as we address rapid growth in the port’s container intermodal and freight business lines.
“The Norfolk Southern rail improvements will bolster capacity, reliability, and market access through the Port of Mobile for regional supply chains.”
Governor Ivey added, “Working together with the Port in Mobile to build out our infrastructure to move the commerce for Alabama and the greater southeastern region of the country must be one of our top priorities.
“Creating good port access to central Alabama is a key part of this initiative, and it can provide options for freight containers to reach new destinations inland, which our country has struggled with during the supply chain crisis. I am proud our state is looking ahead and investing in the Alabama-USA Corridor and the future jobs and economic opportunity it will bring.”
On 8 February 2022, PTI will be holding its Intermodal Freight Forum Europe delving into the pressing challenges and trends in intermodal freight transport. The event is set to bring together senior decision-makers from the intermodal transport network, addressing a wide range of issues from data standardisation to the lack of capacity in ports and rail.
Registration for the event can be done here.