Port of Mobile ramps up intermodal rail project
The Alabama State Port Authority’s board of directors at its January meeting, approved two measures that will bring the port’s new intermodal rail facility closer to reality. The board authorized expenditures for the construction, inspection and testing for a rail access bridge that will connect five Class I railroads and the Authority’s Terminal Railway to an Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF), a rail intermodal facility and the second leg of the Authority’s Choctaw Point intermodal program. The second measure extended Moffatt & Nichol’s engineering and program management through Fiscal Year 2013 for key components within the Authority’s Choctaw Point project.
As approved, the Port Authority will let $11.5 million in contracts for the construction, inspection and testing of a rail access bridge into the intermodal rail facility. The ICTF will service import/export containerized cargoes moving through APM Terminals Mobile as well as domestic containerized cargoes from regional manufacturers. “The ICTF program is critical to servicing our regional market shippers, who have to rail their containerized freight longer distances at higher costs,” said James K. Lyons, director and chief executive for the Port Authority. “With this project, we can alleviate time and cost pressures on our customers, expand the container terminal’s natural market reach and provide an intermodal ramp for domestic shipments.”
The Port Authority’s ICTF site is currently undergoing approximately $4 million in site stabilization work and the project had also received in 2012 a $12 million U.S. Department of Transportation TIGER grant to construct Phase I of the intermodal rail facility by mid-2014. The ICTF Phase I project was calculated by Martin Associates to create over three hundred direct and indirect jobs and generate over $7.4 million in state and local revenue and tax impacts. Phase I of the ICTF is expected to be completed by 2015.
The second measure approved by the Port Authority’s board authorized extending program management services for key components of the Choctaw Point projects, including the ICTF, site development work at APM Terminals Phase II container terminal expansion and the north tract of the affiliated logistics park. Bob Harris, Vice President of Environmental and Program Management, noted, “Moffatt and Nichol has provided excellent service on Choctaw Point since the program’s inception, and securing their services into these next phases of development is necessary to the program’s timely implementation.”