Investment in Alabama-USA Corridor Designed to Boost State Economic Development | State

(The Center Square) – Alabama is investing in rail service to central and southern state to create key port access designed to tackle the current supply chain crisis and benefit the southeastern country.

Governor Kay Ivey announced in a Press release the creation of the A-USA corridor, which represents an investment of $ 231.6 million in projects that will improve the state’s economic development infrastructure. The first phase of the project will benefit ports in Mobile, Etowah, Jefferson, Shelby, Washington and Mobile counties.

“Working with the Port of Mobile to develop our infrastructure to move commerce for Alabama and the greater Southeast region of the country must be one of our top priorities,” Ivey said in the statement. “Creating good port access to central Alabama is a key part of this initiative, and it may provide options for freight containers to reach new inland destinations, which our country has struggled with. during the supply chain crisis. I am proud that our state is looking ahead and investing in the Alabama-USA corridor and the future jobs and economic opportunities it will bring. “

The first phase, according to the statement, includes a $ 71.6 million project to connect the Port of Mobile to the McCalla intermodal facility near Birmingham. The 280-mile-long rail line will also connect to Etowah’s economic development sites in Little Canoe Creek, Shelby in Calera, and Washington / Mobile. These sites span over 1,000 acres. A 104-acre site in Jefferson County with one million square feet of warehouse space will be developed.

Work on the sites has been sped up with the Growing Alabama tax credit, which helps create the manufacturing, warehousing and distribution sites in the network, the statement said.

Norfolk Southern has partnered with state and local economic development groups and invested $ 5.7 million in the Etowah County commission to improve the Little Canoe Creek site, the statement said.

The sites are located near major interstate highways. However, rail service will create a modern and efficient freight and intermodal rail infrastructure designed to accommodate the growth of the port and the region’s economic expansion.

According to the statement, the first phase will include 12 specific track, signal and yard improvements for the Norfolk Southern lines between Mobile, Selma and Birmingham.

“The Alabama Ports Authority welcomes this vital project as we approach the rapid growth of the port’s intermodal container and freight business,” said John C. Driscoll, director and CEO, in the communicated. “Norfolk Southern rail improvements will enhance capacity, reliability and market access through the Port of Mobile for regional supply chains.

The University of Alabama conducted an Economic Impact Survey, conducted by the Culverhouse College of Business from 2000 to 2020, and showed that the corridor will provide new and expanded opportunities for economic development investments reaching 14, $ 3 billion and nearly 21,000 jobs.

According to the statement, the construction phases will provide $ 497.2 million in gross commercial revenue. Alabama workers are expected to reach $ 184.8 million in earnings with 4,247 direct and indirect workers in the state. The state will collect $ 13.1 million in state and local taxes during construction.

Norfolk Southern, the statement said, is providing more than half of the funding for the project, while the state is investing $ 5 million in the project. Current and future federal grants from the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement Program are expected to cover the remainder of the costs.

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