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500 Water Street, 15th Floor
Jacksonville, FL 32202
CSX Transportation, Inc.
500 Water Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202
CSX To Invest $40 million in Rail Infrastructure To Move Cargo Containers Via Rail
Released: Apr 23, 2008
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., April 21, 2008 - U.S. Congresswoman Corrine Brown, Mayor John Peyton, Council President Daniel Davis, Council Member Ray Holt and representatives from JAXPORT joined CSX Corporation officials today to announce the company's intention to invest $40 million in rail infrastructure on Jacksonville's northside.
The CSX funded North Main Street bypass would serve as an important element in the city's efforts to effectively manage the flow of goods and materials into and out of JAXPORT. It is also projected to reduce rail traffic on the current train routes that bisect neighborhoods and cross Main Street/US 17 on the northside.
Congresswoman Corrine Brown said, "This is a perfect example of good government in action: true constituent service. By working together, we have come up with a win-win situation: we will increase economic development at JAXPORT and protect the local community from a potentially severe traffic increase."
"Jacksonville and JAXPORT are uniquely positioned to capitalize on the changing dynamics of international trade into and out of the United States," said Mayor Peyton. "If managed properly over the next few years, international trade will become one of the largest economic drivers in this region, vastly increasing regional prosperity and creating large numbers of good, secure jobs at our port and in related industries such as warehousing, distribution and logistics centers."
Peyton added, "Our collective challenge is to ensure that we capture the job opportunities for our citizens and also effectively manage the movement of these goods and materials into and out of our community. Today's announcement is an important example of how public and private organizations can work together to meet this challenge, particularly in light of financial challenges facing local and state governments."
CSX has indicated that the funding for this rail enhancement would come from the proceeds of the Central Florida Rail Agreement currently under consideration by the Florida legislature.
"Railroads provide connectivity between ports and inland destinations, and we do it in an environmentally friendly way," said Clarence Gooden, CSX's executive vice president and chief commercial officer. "CSX Transportation is proud to be a partner with Congresswoman Brown, JAXPORT and the City of Jacksonville in this innovative solution that will make our port more competitive and contribute to improved air quality."
Current activities at JAXPORT support more than 50,000 jobs in Northeast Florida and inject $3 billion into Northeast Florida's economy each year. The port handled almost eight and half million tons of cargo in FY 2007 and saw a seventh consecutive year of record revenues.
These figures are expected to continue to grow. Construction on a new $220 million container terminal for Japanese shipping giant Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) will be completed later this year, opening new trade lanes to Asia and Europe. In addition, contract talks are nearly finished on another new terminal for the Korean shipping firm Hanjin, a facility that could open in 2011.
Over the next 10 years, it is estimated that port-related development will bring an additional 25-50,000 jobs to Jacksonville. In fiscal year 2007, trade with South and Central America and the Caribbean accounted for more than 60 percent of JAXPORT's business. The Hanjin and MOL terminals will triple the number of containers the port is able to handle annually, and balance east-west trade with north-south trade to make our area an even more vital player in the global economy.
"We are pleased to be part of a community that understands the need for investment in transportation infrastructure," said Rick Ferrin, JAXPORT's Executive Director. "As JAXPORT continues to attract jobs and dollars to the region, this commitment will help make sure Jacksonville can welcome these opportunities with open arms."
Another important element of the overall transportation solution will be improvements to the roadways. In that regard, the Florida Department of Transportation will begin an $11.8 million construction project later this month. The project will lengthen the ramps on State Road 9A southbound to Heckscher Drive allowing for additional capacity at the intersection and permit the quicker movement of traffic exiting 9A southbound at Heckscher Drive.
"While we are excited about the projects announced today and those already planned to address what is truly a problem of success, we will continue to work with private industry, JAXPORT and the state and federal governments to invest in infrastructure in ways that support economic growth and bring all of the other benefits of prosperity to every corner of our city," said Peyton.
Misty Skipper (904) 477-8677 Mayor's Office
Nancy Rubin (904) 755-7212JAXPORT
Gary Sease (904) 359-1719 CSX Corporation