Norfolk Southern receives $105 million for Crescent Corridor project

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The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded the Crescent Corridor Intermodal Freight Program $105 million in federal stimulus money.

The states of Pennsylvania, Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee filed a joint application last year for a $300 million grant to improve Norfolk Southern’s freight rail lines between the Gulf Coast and the Northeast.

“This was an extremely competitive process, and we are grateful that the economic opportunities and environmental benefits of our Crescent Corridor initiative have been recognized,” Norfolk Southern CEO Wick Moorman said in a statement.

Although the grant is about a third of the money sought, Norfolk Southern said the money will allow it to begin construction on some Crescent Corridor projects, while it seeks public-private partnerships for others.

The Crescent Corridor is a 2,500-mile rail network that stretches from Louisiana and New Jersey and runs through 13 states.

The overall project, which will cost an estimated $2.5 billion, will include a number of projects to allow the railroad to handle more freight faster and more reliably, removing an estimated 1.3 million trucks from the interstates each year. The entire project is expected to be completed by 2020.

Current projects include new intermodal facilities in Tennessee, Alabama, and Pennsylvania and additional rail capacity in Virginia and Mississippi.

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