- THE MAGAZINE
Northeast Florida leaders gathered at the JAXPORT Cruise Terminal to announce next steps in a long-term project to improve the movement of rail freight through the region.
The North Florida TPO’s North Area/JIA Corridor: Future Rail Feasibility study has identified viable options for rail alignment that would reduce crossings and save time.
The potential improvements near Jacksonville International Airport would reduce the number of highway-rail grade crossings from 44 to 22 to JAXPORT marine terminals and eliminate 28 at-grade crossings to the Port of Fernandina as well as provide the opportunity to open up hundreds of acres of new industrial lands for economic development.
JAXPORT CEO Brian Taylor identified how these potential improvements along with JAXPORT’s Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) at Dames Point, scheduled to be completed in 2015, will enhance Northeast Florida’s ability to move freight more quickly and efficiently. The ICTF, which offers on-dock rail service to and from JAXPORT’s North Jacksonville marine terminals, will facilitate the direct transfer of containers between vessels and trains, speeding up the shipment process and reducing the number of trucks on the road.
Joining Taylor for the announcement were Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown, North Florida TPO Executive Director Jeff Sheffield, Jacksonville City Councilman Ray Holt, CSX Assistant Vice President for Regional Development Clark Robertson, Port of Fernandina Director and Florida Ports Council Chairman Val Schwec, and approximately 50 students enrolled in transportation and logistics programs throughout Northeast Florida.
Earlier in the day, JAXPORT, the JAX Chamber and Florida Chamber Foundation introduced joint strategies to strengthen Northeast Florida’s ability to compete in the global marketplace and attract more jobs, opportunity and prosperity to the region.
Taylor also unveiled JAXPORT’s new Strategic Master Plan to lead the port and the Northeast Florida region into the future.