ORDC Gives OK to CSX Clearance Project in Downtown Columbus
Commission Also Approves Rail Spur for New Columbus Employer / Up to 200 New Jobs Could be Created
Columbus (Friday, September 10, 2010) – Lowering the CSX tracks underneath a single Downtown Columbus bridge can bring savings to Ohio shippers, save fuel and emissions from up to 70,000 long haul truck trips and breathe new life into a West Side Columbus rail yard.
ORDC Commissioners have approved a staff recommendation for the Commission to act as the public sponsor for a $750,000 dollar grant from the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission. The grant would leverage $250,000 dollars in CSX Railroad funds for a project to lower the tracks beneath the Front Street bridge in Downtown Columbus (near the Arena District). The project would enable double stack container trains to pass through downtown and use a route that would save 41 miles and up to an estimated $7-million in annual costs for shippers.
The project would also benefit the environment and reduce traffic congestion by taking up to 70,000 long-haul truck moves off of Ohio’s highways, resulting in substantial fuel and diesel emissions savings.
In another major project, ORDC staff approved a $125,000 grant to help leverage funds from the Norfolk Southern to build a new switch and rehabilitate a rail spur to help revive a vacant South Columbus plant and create much-needed jobs.
The switch and spur project will enable Phoenix, Arizona-based ITC (International Technical Coatings) to establish a manufacturing operation in the vacant Techneglas plant in South Columbus, and create an estimated 120 to 200 jobs.. The Columbus site was the choice of ITC over a site in Kentucky because of the access to rail and favorable electric rates. In addition, grants are being provided through grants and tax credits from the Ohio Department of Development, the City of Columbus and AEP.
“Projects like these are the essence of how the ORDC works with the private sector to make significant economic development happen”, says ORDC Executive Director Matt Dietrich.
In other Commission action:
· Aproved a resolution to allow ORDC to act as public sponsor for a CSX railroad grant to the Federal Highway Administration to help fund the administration of the $98-million dollar, 4-state, Phase I of the National Gateway double stack clearance project.
· Approved the use of up to $24, 933 remaining dollars from the Richland Tunnel project on the City of Jackson-owned rail line for use in cutting back vegetation, repairing derailment damage and other track work along the rail line. The work ensures reliable rail service to shippers, including one that employs over 1,300 Southern Ohio workers.
· Approved a letter of modification with the City of Lima that will enable the defunct Eastern Ohio Ethanol Plant to be re-opened by PEA Lima LLC. The reopening will create 31 new jobs and generate an estimated 1,000 annual carloads of ethanol. The letter modifies an earlier grant agreement.
(NOTE: copies of the project descriptions are available upon request. Please call or e-mail Stu Nicholson at 614-644-0513 or firstname.lastname@example.org )
For more information contact: at 614-644-0513
Stu Nicholson, ORDC Communications,