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Virginia court clears the way for intermodal facility in Montgomery County

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A decision by the the Supreme Court of Virginia has removed a legal obstacle for the construction of an intermodal facility in Montgomery County. In a ruling announced Friday, the court affirmed that the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation had not violated the Constitution of Virginia in its funding of a truck-to-rail intermodal facility slated for the Elliston area of the county.

Known as the Roanoke Intermodal facility, the terminal would be positioned adjacent to Interstate I-81 and along Norfolk Southern Railway’s east-west Heartland Corridor and north-south Crescent Corridor.
In an effort to block the project, Montgomery County filed suit in a lower court in May 2008, claiming that the Rail Enhancement Fund statute through which the commonwealth became involved in the development of the intermodal facility violated the internal improvement clause and the credit clause of Article X, Section 10 of the Constitution of Virginia.  After losing in a lower court, Montgomery County appealed its case to the state’s Supreme Court.

“The Supreme Court’s affirmation will allow this important transportation link to advance and provide the Roanoke and New River Valley regions a gateway to the global economy,” Gov. Bob McDonnell said in a statement.

Norfolk Southern Railway joined the commonwealth in defense of the facility.  Norfolk Southern’s Heartland Corridor begins at the ports of Virginia and runs to Chicago. The Roanoke Intermodal Terminal will be the only terminal along the Heartland Corridor in Virginia.


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