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America’s Central Port steps up recent rail construction


GRANITE CITY — By the end of the year, America’s Central Port District, located in Granite City and Madison, will have completed the construction of 4.25 miles of new rail track throughout its business and industrial campus, doubling the amount of new rail construction completed by the port over the last 15 years.

Midway through September, rail contractors mobilized on two major rail projects at America’s Central Port, designed to increase efficiency and rail throughput, reduce congestion, and provide ample capacity to meet future needs.

The first of these projects will bring rail access to a 60-acre development site in the center of the port’s campus, which will include direct access to the recently-completed, 126,000 square feet advanced chemical processing building, as well as construct an additional spur for future development on this site. This project also includes the rehabilitation of “Track 3,” which currently serves two of the six primary warehouses located in the port’s industrial campus.

The existing track was actually made in the late 1800s and was installed by the Army during WWII to transport military material. The new track will be upgraded to current industry standards, and will provide current and future tenants the necessary infrastructure to handle maximum inbound and outbound traffic.

Both the new track construction and the track rehabilitation project were funded through a U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration grant and matched with a loan from Madison County Community Development.

“This is a great opportunity for the port to assist St. Louis area companies that need rail,” said Bill Stahlman, director of Engineering and Construction for America’s Central Port. “Our new rail construction opens us up to many new markets, and above all, keeps our customers’ shipping costs to a minimum. Nationwide, 60 percent of a manufacturing company’s costs are in transportation. We are working hard to reduce that number for our tenants.”

The second major rail construction project is the expansion of the South Rail Loop. The initial, single, rail loop track constructed in 2009, will now have two additional adjacent tracks to meet the growing rail needs at the harbor. More than 15,185 feet of rail will be constructed in this project, allowing additional train capacity.

The port is paying all of the cost of the $2.5 million project through loan funds.

— From the Illinois Business Journal

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