MONTGOMERY, Ala. (EETV) – On Tuesday, Governor Kay Ivey announced the creation of the Alabama - USA Corridor to upgrade infrastructure in central and southern Alabama. The program of rail projects is proposed to cost $231.6 million.
The first phase of the initiative involves a link from the Port of Mobile to the McCalla Intermodal Facility near Birmingham. This 280-mile rail corridor will cost $71.6 million and will also link mega economic development sites in Etowah (Little Canoe Creek), Shelby (Calera) and Washington/Mobile (Calvert) counties, each totaling more than 1,000 acres. A fourth site in Jefferson County (McCalla) will see the development of a 104-acre site with up to a million square-feet of warehousing under roof. The Growing Alabama Tax Credit program has helped expedite the work required to make these sites immediately available for manufacturing, warehousing and distribution. To that end, Norfolk Southern has already partnered with the state and local economic development authorities by investing $5.7 million to the Etowah County Commission for improvements to the Little Canoe Creek site.
While each of the sites are near major interstate highways, modern and efficient freight and intermodal rail infrastructure is necessary to meet the port’s rapid growth and the region’s economic expansion needs. Phase One of the A-USA Corridor project involves 12 specific track, signal and yard improvements on Norfolk Southern rail lines between Mobile, Selma and Birmingham.
“Working together with the Port in Mobile to build out our infrastructure to move the commerce for Alabama and the greater southeastern region of the country must be one of our top priorities,” said Governor Ivey. “Creating good port access to central Alabama is a key part of this initiative, and it can provide options for freight containers to reach new destinations inland, which our country has struggled with during the supply chain crisis. I am proud our state is looking ahead and investing in the Alabama-USA Corridor and the future jobs and economic opportunity it will bring.”
The A-USA Corridor will be funded through a public-private partnership. Norfolk Southern, a Fortune 500 transportation company, would fund over 50 percent of the initiative. The State of Alabama would invest an additional $5 million, and the rest of the cost would come from future federal Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement Program (CRISI) grants through the Alabama Department of Transportation.