Norfolk Southern CEO Wick Moorman and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam joined state and local dignitaries and business and community leaders today at the groundbreaking for the new Memphis Regional Intermodal Facility in Rossville, Tenn. The $105 million facility is part of the multi-state $2.5 billion Crescent Corridor initiative to establish an efficient, high-capacity intermodal freight rail route between the South and the Northeast on Norfolk Southern's rail network.
The new facility will be built on 380 acres in Fayette County and is expected to open in late 2012. Today's groundbreaking is the second of four new Crescent Corridor intermodal terminals to be constructed or improved over the next two years.
"The Memphis intermodal facility will be an anchor of Norfolk Southern's Crescent Corridor rail route connecting the Northeast and Southeast with high-speed, reliable, truck-competitive intermodal services," said Wick Moorman, Norfolk Southern's chief executive officer. "We thank Secretary LaHood and USDOT for their support of public-private partnerships to create jobs and economic development opportunities. We also commend Gov. Haslam, the Tennessee Department of Transportation, and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development for their leadership in support of meaningful rail initiatives in Tennessee that will help solve our national transportation infrastructure crisis. We greatly appreciate the continued support of Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, Mississippi DOT, and the Marshall County Industrial Development Authority for their awareness of the benefits that the project will have for the surrounding region."
"I'm excited about the jobs this project will bring to Fayette County and Tennessee," said Gov. Haslam at the groundbreaking ceremony today. "My administration continues to focus on making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high-quality jobs, and this project is indicative of why one of our target industry clusters for job growth is transportation, logistics, and distribution."
The Memphis Regional Intermodal Facility is expected to create or enhance 6,200 jobs in the Memphis region over the next 10 years, and its capacity will grow to handle 327,000 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, thereby reducing exhaust emissions and improving truck driver productivity. Additionally, state-of-the-art, low-emission cranes will operate within the terminal. NS also will construct the main administration building to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification standards.
The Crescent Corridor is a program of independent projects and improvements geared toward creating a high-capacity, 2,500 mile intermodal route from New Jersey to Louisiana that touches 26 percent of the nation's population and 30 percent of the nation's manufacturing output. It provides the shortest intermodal double-stack route between the South and the Northeast. When fully operational, it will handle more rail freight traffic faster and more reliably, creating or benefiting more than 73,000 green jobs by 2030 and producing these estimated annual public benefits:
- 1.3 million long-haul trucks diverted from interstates
- $146 million in accident avoidance savings
- 1.9 million tons in CO2 reduction
- $575 million in congestion savings
- $92 million in highway maintenance savings
- 169 million gallons in fuel savings
The Crescent Corridor program of projects is estimated to cost $2.5 billion for full development. In addition to the Fayette County facility, Crescent Corridor projects currently planned for development include new independent intermodal facilities at Birmingham, Ala., Charlotte, N.C., and Greencastle, Pa.; the expansion of the Harrisburg, Pa., intermodal terminal; and the addition of freight rail capacity in Virginia and Mississippi. In addition to facility investments, the program includes significant investments in rail route improvements consisting of additional passing tracks, double track projects, improved signaling systems, and other track speed enhancements.
When the Crescent Corridor is fully operational, annual benefits to Tennessee are expected to include more than 637,000 long-haul trucks diverted to rail, more than 30 million gallons of fuel saved, carbon dioxide reduction of 336,000 tons, more than $103 million in traffic congestion savings, and an estimated $26 million in accident costs avoided.
Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) is one of the nation's premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates approximately 20,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a major transporter of coal and industrial products.