Wednesday, September 16, 2009

NS praises Crescent Corridor state partners

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Norfolk Southern Corp. has commended its Crescent Corridor state partners, including Pennsylvania, Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee, for supporting the Crescent Corridor program designed to increase NS’ freight transportation capacity and mobility in the eastern U.S.

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"On behalf of Norfolk Southern, I thank our partners for their farsighted support of the Crescent Corridor," said NS CEO Wick Moorman (pictured at left) in a statement. "The Crescent Corridor is a tremendous economic advantage for the states and the nation. It will stimulate jobs, tax revenue, and business growth, while delivering substantial public benefits forcommunities and customers. Governors Ed Rendell, Tim Kaine, Bob Riley, Haley Barbour, and Phil Bredesen are leading the way in showing how public-private partnerships can create safe, affordable, green solutions to America's transportation infrastructure challenges."

NS says lead state Pennsylvania on Monday submitted "The Crescent Corridor Intermodal Freight Application" to apply for federal stimulus money under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Program.

The application seeks $300 million in support of new independent intermodal facilities at Memphis, Birmingham, and Franklin County, Pa.; and the expansion of intermodal terminals in Harrisburg and Philadelphia. Track improvements in the five partner states will include 10 passing tracks, 557 individual speed improvements, and 393 miles of track improved with upgraded rail, NS says.

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The Crescent Corridor stretches 2,500 miles, linking New Orleans and Memphis with northern New Jersey. In their TIGER application, the five partner states described the Crescent Corridor as "one of the single largest additions of new freight transportation capacity in America since the Interstate Highway System. Building the last long haul intermodal freight distribution supply chain is one of the best transportation investments of our time."

NS says the improvements planned will generate $326 million in tax revenues to states and communities, divert 1.3 million long-haul trucks from Interstate highways, generate $146 million in accident avoidance savings, reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1.9 million tons, generate $575 million in congestion savings, generate $92 million in highway maintenance savings, and offer fuel savings of 169 million.