Phase one will benefit Port of Mobile, Etowah, Jefferson, Shelby, and Washington / Mobile Counties
MONTGOMERY – Governor Kay Ivey announced Tuesday the creation of the A-USA Corridor, a planned $ 231.6 million railroad project to modernize economic development infrastructure in central and southern Alabama.
“Working with Port in Mobile to expand our infrastructure to move trade to Alabama and the southeastern part of the country must be one of our top priorities.” said Governor Ivey. “Providing good port access to central Alabama is an important part of this initiative and can provide freight containers with opportunities to reach new inland destinations that our country struggled with during the supply chain crisis. I am proud that our state is looking ahead and investing in the Alabama-US corridor and the future jobs and economic opportunities it will bring. “
The first phase of the A-USA Corridor Initiative includes a $ 71.6 million initiative to connect the Port of Mobile to the McCalla Intermodal Facility near Birmingham. This 280 mile rail corridor will also connect mega-economic development sites in Counties Etowah (Little Canoe Creek), Shelby (Calera) and Washington / Mobile (Calvert), each totaling over 1,000 acres. A fourth location in Jefferson County (McCalla) is developing a 104 acre property with up to one million square meters of storage space under roof. The Growing Alabama Tax Credit Program has helped expedite the work needed to get these locations instantly available for manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution. To this end, Norfolk Southern has already partnered with state and local economic development agencies by investing $ 5.7 million in the Etowah County Commission for improvements to the Little Canoe Creek site.
A critical component for the growth and success of the port and these mega-locations is efficient transport links. Although each of the locations is close to major highways, modern and efficient freight and intermodal rail infrastructure is required to meet the port’s rapid growth and economic expansion needs in the region. Phase One of the A-USA Corridor Project includes 12 specific track, signal and shunting improvements on the Norfolk Southern rail lines between Mobile, Selma and Birmingham.
“The Alabama Port Authority welcomes this important project as we address the port’s rapid growth in the container intermodal and freight businesses.” said John C. Driscoll, director and chief executive officer. “The improvements to the Norfolk Southern rail will increase capacity, reliability and market access through the Port of Mobile for regional supply chains.”
According to a recent economic impact report by staff at the University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Business, the A-US Corridor has $ 14.3 billion in total new and expanded economic development investment from 2000 to 2020 with 20,498 jobs in Alabama. During the construction phases of the project, the A-U.S. Corridor will bring positive economic benefits to Alabama of $ 497.2 million in gross operating activity, including $ 184.8 million in revenue for 4,247 direct and indirect workers in Alabama. $ 13.1 million in state and local taxes will be generated during construction.
The A-USA Corridor is a true public-private partnership, with Norfolk Southern funding more than 50 percent of the project. Alabama is investing $ 5 million in the project, with the remainder coming from current and future federal grants from the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program (CRISI) by the Alabama Department of Transportation in partnership with Norfolk Southern.
“The A-USA Corridor is an innovative public-private partnership that will strengthen the country’s supply chain at a critical time and boost the regional economy.” said Alan Shaw, president of Norfolk Southern. “We look forward to working with Governor Ivey and the Port of Mobile to make the A-USA Corridor the engine of job creation in Alabama for years to come.”