LaHood Presents $11.4 Million to Fund Intermodal Rail Yard Next to Global Container Terminal
TIGER funds will create jobs, enhanced services to technologically advanced facility in the Port of NY/NJ
The former Greenville rail yard in Bayonne, NJ, being developed adjacent to the Global Container Terminal expansion project, will benefit from a U.S. Department of Transportation TIGER grant of $11.4 million to be used for rebuilding and modernizing the facility. The check was presented by USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood and U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, D-NJ, as they stood on the Global facility and looked toward the historic rail yard, which will become SHIF. Also attending was U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg, U.S. Representative Albio Sires and Bayonne Mayor Mark Smith.
The enhancement of the rail facility will be a significant offering to customers of the expanded Global facility, scheduled to open in 2014. The terminal will feature new container handling technology that will achieve higher efficiency while improving safety and security for the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA), AFL-CIO workforce. The technologically advanced marine terminal will also improve the competitiveness of the Port of New York and New Jersey with its ability to handle the largest container vessels at greater throughput density per acre.
The intermodal facility when completed will allow an additional 250,000 containers annually to be moved to and from ocean-going vessels and double-stack freight trains traveling longer distances between the port and the heartland. The South Hudson Intermodal Facility will enhance the Port of New York & New Jersey's three existing rail facilities while promoting future growth of intermodal cargo through the City of Bayonne while reducing the amount of over the road trucks congesting both the Hudson County and regional roadway network.
Reduced use of trucks will also reduce pollution to communities where people live and work. TIGER funds will be used to procure two double-cantilever rail mounted gantry cranes, which will load and unload double-stack rail cars in the 32-car rail car working intermodal yard.
"The DOT TIGER funds places us a giant step closer to the total Global expansion, the total development of Port Jersey peninsula and a superb example of how public and private funding can work together to help such projects evolve," said James Devine, President and CEO, Global Container Terminals USA. "It is also a testament to the long-term commitment from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to protect the port's continuing role as a leading U.S. gateway for global commerce," he added.
The Port Authority acquired the land for the project adjoining Global's existing facility in 2007, ensuring that remaining waterfront property would be used for waterfront business. The Global project and the adjacent rail yard will create significant employment opportunity through both the construction phase and operation of the facility. Richard Larrabee, director of port commerce for the PANYNJ, noted the significant investment made by the bi-state agency in the facility, including dredging, real estate purchase, equipment and involvement in the total development. "It will bring this area into the 21st century," he said.
Integration with the rail facilities creates alternatives and opportunities for containerized goods to access the expanding Norfolk Southern Heartland Corridor and the CSX National Gateway rail lines. Creation of the SHIF allows direct transfer of rail export and import containers to ocean going vessels without truck drayage through the regions roadways. The project has positive environmental benefits by reducing diesel emissions by reduced truck drayage and implementation of electric stacking cranes. The project stimulates employment in the local and regional area when unemployment is higher than the national average.
Secretary LaHood made reference to the number of jobs that will be brought to the areas with longshoremen, construction workers, rail yard personnel "and the hundreds of support employees that will come with the anticipated growth in cargo volume." Mr. LaHood and Senator Menendez spoke also about moving containers off the highways and onto the rails. "The highways are already over-congested," said the DOT secretary. "This will improve the environment and the situation for cars on the roads."
At Global, the existing 100-acre marine container terminal is being expanded an additional 70 acres along with the modernization of the existing vessel berth along with the expansion of two additional berths. Global Terminal, the expansion area and the intermodal yard are situated on New York Bay, ahead of the entrance to the Kill Van Kull. Ships calling at Global do not transit under the Bayonne Bridge, eliminating air draft limitations. With 50 feet of water depth at its new berths, Global Terminal will be able to handle the largest container vessels in the world. The terminal will have total capacity to move 1.7 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) per year, making it one of the most efficient port terminals in the country based on throughput density per acre. Said Mr. Devine: "We expect to see you all here in 662 days, April 14, 2014, for the grand opening."
Both New Jersey senators spoke of the excellent opportunity this project presents for the people of the region and the economy of the state they represent.
Global Terminal sits on a small footprint in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty in a region that accounted for significant industrial growth in the 20th century. The terminal development project is expected to create construction-related jobs over the next three years. It will generate new high-technology longshoremen positions and contribute significantly to the more than $6.4 billion in additional personal and business income the port is expected to generate from capital investments through 2017. The SHIF terminal development project is expected to create 250 construction-related jobs. One third of the total investment is funded publicly while the remaining two-thirds are sourced privately.
The SHIF will ultimately create 50 new permanent well-paying, advanced longshoremen positions annually and the Port Jersey Expansion will support 7,475 jobs annually by contributing $12.8 billion in additional wage earnings and $22.9B in business income through the port operations, maintenance, trucking, warehousing and distribution.
The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER Discretionary Grant program, provides a unique opportunity for the U.S. Department of Transportation to invest in road, rail, transit and port projects that promise to achieve critical national objectives. Congress dedicated $1.5 billion for TIGER I, $600 million for TIGER II, and $526.944 million for the FY 2011 round of TIGER Grants to fund projects that have a significant impact on the Nation, a region or a metropolitan area. TIGER's highly competitive process, galvanized by tremendous applicant interest, allowed DOT to fund important projects. Each project is multi-modal, multi-jurisdictional or otherwise challenging to fund through existing programs. The team and staff at Global Terminal made application for the Bayonne grant, with the support of Mayor Smith and the endorsement of Senator Menendez, who as both a Congressman and Senator has represented the district for 20 years.
The TIGER program enables DOT to use a rigorous process to select projects with exceptional benefits, explore ways to deliver projects faster and save on construction costs, and make investments in our Nation's infrastructure that make communities more livable and sustainable. "These are innovative, 21st century projects that will change the U.S. transportation landscape by strengthening the economy and creating jobs, reducing gridlock and providing safe, affordable and environmentally sustainable transportation choices," said Secretary LaHood. "Many of these projects could not have been funded without this program."