FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: September 16, 2008
CONTACT: Stu Nicholson
ORDC to Sponsor Major RR Clearance Project Between Columbus & Cincinnati
(Columbus) – A $5.3-million dollar project to increase rail corridor clearances will be sponsored by the Ohio Rail Development Commission. The project will enable double-stack container trains to use the Norfolk Southern (NS) Railroad corridor between Columbus and Cincinnati.
NS has applied to both the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) and the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Council of Governments (OKI) to use federal CMAQ (Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality) dollars for the clearance projects.
After discussions with MORPC, OKI and NS, it was determined that given the extent of the project and its broader impact on the State of Ohio, ORDC was both appropriate and uniquely positioned to administrate the project as a sponsor. The railroad will provide a 20% match of its own funds toward the federal dollars. No ORDC funds would be committed to the project at this time.
The project has the public benefit of diverting significant freight traffic off of state and local highways on to rail by improving intermodal service that enters NS’ Sharonville (Cincinnati) yard from markets to the South. NS estimates the project can eliminate up to 79,454 truck trips and over 13-million truck miles travelled statewide.
Commissioners approved the project resolution by a vote of 8 to 0, with Commissioner Solomon Jackson, an NS employee, recusing himself from the discussion and vote.
(The Ohio Rail Development Commission is an independent agency operating within the Ohio Department of Transportation. ORDC is responsible for economic development through the improvement and expansion of passenger and freight rail services and railroad grade crossing safety. For more information about what ORDC does for Ohio, visit our website at http://www.dot.state.oh.us/ohiorail/)