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Port Corpus Christi Nueces River Rail Yard project moves forward
Port Commissioners accepted the staff recommendation and unanimously awarded the construction of the Nueces River Rail Yard project to Haas-Anderson Construction, Ltd., (HAC) at the scheduled Port Corpus Christi Commission meeting, June 11, 2013.
Haas-Anderson Construction, Ltd., was the lowest bid at $12,658,040. HAC is an extremely qualified civil construction contractor that has successfully completed large projects for the PCCA in the past.
“Port Commissioners understand the importance of this infrastructure project. The new rail yard will greatly benefit all our existing customers as well as new industry,” said Mike Carrell, Chairman of the Port Commission. “This project could not be possible without the funding from the TIGER Grant and the commitment of the three Class I Railroads serving the Port and Rail Link.”
Project Background:Due to the dramatic increase (over 100%) in rail traffic over the last five years and the removal of the Tule Lake Lift Bridge, the need for additional rail facilities in the Inner Harbor has become critical to port operations, existing customers, and to attract new industry. The Port’s Rail Master Plan identified a new main interchange yard at the west end of the Inner Harbor as its number one priority.
Over the past three years, the Port Commission has approved several agreements and contracts related to the Nueces River Rail Yard project, including purchase orders for design, funding agreements with the Class I railroads and Rail Link (the port’s local rail switching company).
In June 2012, the U.S. Transportation Secretary announced the recipients of 47 TIGER grants, only eight were awarded to ports. The highly competitive TIGER program which benefits surface transportation projects having a significant impact on the nation received 703 project applications requesting a total of $10.2 billion. The Port was awarded a $10 million grant and in April 2013, the $10 million grant agreement with MARAD was finalized for the construction of the long sought-after new rail yard. The project has received all permits, completed the design, and obtained bids for construction. Lighting for this rail yard has already been installed and was funded by a security grant.
The most important feature of this project is the 8,000-foot-long unit train track which is critically needed to better serve the port’s increased rail traffic. Other important features include the six shorter railcar siding tracks (approximately 4,000 feet each), service road, drainage improvements, automatic equipment indicator railcar readers for registering individual railcars as they enter and leave the rail yard, and a 2.5-mile bike trail for the general public that will be constructed along the Fulton Corridor and south shore of Nueces Bay.
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