Iowa Awarded More Than $25M for Intermodal Transportation Facility
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds announces the Iowa Department of Transportation has been awarded $25.65 million to build a full service intermodal facility in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
"We're delighted that the U.S. Department of Transportation recognizes the value in constructing a new intermodal facility in Cedar Rapids," said Gov. Terry Branstad. "This high capacity, efficient and cost-competitive facility will provide farmers and businesses in our state additional resources to move our Iowa goods from truck to rail and vice versa. I want to thank our state leaders at the Iowa DOT and IEDA along with private sector partners for their work on this project. I also want to thank Senators Grassley and Ernst, and Congressmen Blum and Loebsack for their active support of this project."
The federal funds will come to the state under the newly established Fostering Advancements in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-term Achievement of National Efficiencies grant program. This program, created by the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, is being used to fund critical freight and highway projects across the country. The grant will partially cover the $46.5 million cost of the project. Private partners, led by Alliant Energy Transportation, will fund nearly $21 million of the project.
Iowa DOT Director Paul Trombino III hailed the grant as the next step toward a more connected transportation system.
"The facility directly aligns with the highest priority strategy set forth in Iowa's recently developed State Freight Plan," said Trombino. "The facility will optimize the freight transportation network, minimizing costs and travel time and improving supply chain efficiency. This will enhance the state's economic development efforts, something we've been working on in conjunction with the Iowa Economic Development Authority."
Iowa is located between freight centers in Chicago, Illinois, Kansas City, Missouri, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, yet lacks adequate intermodal service, which helps facilitate easy transition of freight between different modes of transportation. The Cedar Rapids project will construct integrated facilities for a container intermodal terminal; a rail-to-truck transload facility for bulk commodities; and a cross-dock facility for consolidating and redistributing truck loads, as well as loading and unloading containers. It will provide Iowa and surrounding states with access to a high capacity, efficient, and cost-competitive facility to move goods from truck to rail and vice versa.
"This statewide initiative will provide long-term benefits to eastern Iowa. As a first-of-its-kind facility, it will serve an unmet need for cross-dock, transload and intermodal services," said Alliant Energy Transportation President, Kevin Burke. "We're grateful to our partners at the Iowa DOT and IEDA, whose support was instrumental in receiving this significant funding. We're excited to be a part of this collaborative opportunity that will create jobs and lower transportation costs for Iowa businesses."
Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds added, "As Iowa looks to the future in how we transport our world-class goods and products to market, this new facility will improve the energy efficiency and reliability of intermodal freight generating positive economic outcomes for Iowa farmers and businesses. We're thrilled that this facility will be constructed in Cedar Rapids as this is a ripe part of our state for future economic growth."
The next phase of the process will involve the negotiation of a grant agreement between the project partners and U.S. DOT. It is expected that the project will begin construction by spring 2017.