National Gateway Approved to Implement $98M ARRA Grant
Washington, D.C. – December 22, 2010 – The U.S. Department of Transportation and the Ohio Rail Development Commission have reached an agreement officially releasing $98 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to the National Gateway. The announcement will enable construction to begin on a key corridor of the National Gateway in the first quarter of 2011, driving immediate construction jobs and long-term benefits.
“This Recovery Act money will help move goods more efficiently among the four states and strengthen the economy up and down the east coast,” said U.S Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Moving more goods by rail means less congestion on our highways and reduced fuel emissions.”
Stretching from Northwest Ohio to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, this National Gateway corridor is one of several key freight rail corridor upgrades that will enable the National Gateway to enhance the economy and improve the environment by expanding the flow of freight between Baltimore, Norfolk and other East Coast seaports and the Midwest.
"Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our supporters, 2010 has been a tremendous year for the National Gateway,” said Louis Renjel, vice president of strategic infrastructure initiatives for CSX, one of the lead sponsors of the National Gateway. “The ARRA grant enables us to schedule construction in the first quarter of 2011 that will deliver jobs and infrastructure to reduce congestion, support our nation’s ports and help grow the economy.”
The National Gateway earned recognition this year from both the federal government and independent groups. In addition to the $98 million ARRA grant, the National Gateway was named one of North America’s top 100 strategic infrastructure projects.
The federal investment will pay dividends very quickly. The National Gateway provides more than $10 billion in public benefits in the route’s first 30 years of operation with $22 in public benefits generated for every $1 of public money invested.
The National Gateway is expected to cost $842 million and is being funded through an innovative public-private partnership. The public funds committed to the project are matched by more than $400 million in private funding.
The momentum behind the National Gateway continues to build as construction of the state-of-the-art intermodal terminal in Northwest Ohio proceeds. In June, five new ultra-efficient intermodal cranes were delivered to the site. These cranes will reduce emissions and improve operational efficiency when the terminal opens in spring 2011. At a recent media tour of the terminal, a group of journalists declared the Northwest Ohio facility a “magnet for jobs” and a high-tech “peek of [the] future.”
The National Gateway coalition will continue to work with its partners to pursue the remaining federal funding needed to make this important project a reality so the full potential and more than $10 billion worth of public benefits of this project can be realized.