Norfolk Southern yard in Memphis lands federal dollars
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MEMPHIS — Norfolk Southern Corp.’s plan to build a $112 million intermodal facility in neighboring Rossville received a major boost today with the announcement that it would receive $105 million in federal stimulus money under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Program.

The Norfolk, Va.-based railroad will use half that money, or $52.5 million, for the facility, slated to open in January 2012. The other half will be used for an intermodal facility in Birmingham, Ala.

Norfolk Southern, whose Memphis Regional Intermodal Facility will be built on 570 acres in rural Fayette County, is developing the terminal to bolster the company’s Crescent Corridor. It’s a 2,500-mile rail network extending from Memphis and New Orleans in the Southeast to Pennsylvania and New Jersey in the Northeast.

The railroad has lined up a host of public and private entities in support of the $2.5 billion project, which will create a massive supply chain in the eastern U.S. with Memphis as one of the key gateways.

The Rossville yard, slated for property that insurance mogul and Fayette County native William Adair sold to the railroad for an undisclosed amount, will be able to accommodate more than 327,000 containers and trailers annually, and up to 2,177 parked containers and trailers on chasses.

Norfolk Southern spokeswoman Susan Terpay wrote in a recent e-mail that the railroad is on schedule for developing and building the intermodal yard. Currently, the Tennessee Department of Transportation and other state agencies are reviewing draft environmental assessments.

TDOT in March will unveil details on the environmental studies and give residents an opportunity to comment about the project.

Also, in April the agency will hold a public hearing to give concerned citizens a chance to discuss the project in a public forum. After that, the final environmental assessment will be issued and, if everything is approved, construction will begin in June.

The U.S. Department of Transportation on Wednesday awarded $105 billion for a variety of transportation projects around the country.

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