National Gateway Coalition Applies for US DOT Discretionary Funds to Complete Project
Washington, D.C. — September 16, 2009 — Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, on behalf of the Governors of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, yesterday applied for $258 million in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) discretionary grant funds for completion of the National Gateway initiative, an unprecedented public-private investment in fuel efficient, environmentally-friendly freight rail.
The National Gateway will create a more efficient freight rail route linking Mid-Atlantic ports with Midwestern markets, improving the flow of rail traffic between these regions by increasing the use of double-stack trains. This initiative will upgrade tracks, equipment and facilities, and provide improved clearances.
The National Gateway is an $842 million public-private partnership. The $258 million requested from the TIGER program complements an expected $189 million from the five states applying for TIGER funds, and $395 million of private money committed by CSX Corporation, one of the nation’s leading transportation companies whose businesses include a freight railroad operating in 23 states and the District of Columbia in the Eastern United States.TThe project is expected to yield more than $6 in public benefits for every $1 spent, and no additional public funding will be required to maintain this infrastructure since it is privately owned and maintained by CSX.
The initiative has the support of an unprecedented coalition that includes governors and other state and local officials across multiple states, nearly three dozen members of Congress, port authorities, business organizations and environmental groups. With its long-term financial savings, improvements in economic competitiveness, and public benefits spread across several states, the National Gateway is uniquely qualified to receive TIGER funds intended to stimulate the economy, promote energy independence and modernize the nation’s infrastructure.
The TIGER grant program is a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act), designed to help modernize the nation’s infrastructure by setting aside discretionary funds that the U.S. Department of Transportation will make available for capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure projects.
With the support of TIGER funding, the National Gateway will:
- Create more than 50,000 jobs, including more than 25,000 jobs in 14 economically distressed areas;
- Replace older bridges, avoiding nearly $700 million in maintenance costs;
- Improve safety and highway congestion by reducing the number of miles trucks travel by more than 14.3 billion miles through a partnership with the trucking industry;
- Save $3.5 billion in shipper and logistics costs by significantly increasing freight capacity and reducing transit times between East and West Coast ports and major population centers by 24 to 48 hours;
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and U.S. dependence on foreign oil by saving nearly two billion gallons of fuel, eliminating 20 million tons of carbon emissions; and
- Help states meet federal clean air standards.
To learn more about the National Gateway, visit www.nationalgateway.org.