Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced the creation of the A-USA Corridor, a proposed $231.6 million program of rail projects to upgrade economic development infrastructure in central and southern Alabama.
The first phase of the A-USA Corridor initiative involves a $71.6 million initiative to link the Port of Mobile with the McCalla Intermodal Facility near Birmingham.
This 280-mile rail corridor will also link mega economic development sites in Etowah, Shelby and Washington/Mobile counties, each totaling more than 1,000 acres.
A fourth site in Jefferson County will see the development of a 104-acre site with up to 1 million square feet of warehousing.
“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,” Governor Ivey said.
“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,” she added.
The Growing Alabama Tax Credit program, administered by the Alabama Department of Commerce, has helped expedite the work required to make the sites immediately available for manufacturing, warehousing and distribution.
Norfolk Southern has already teamed with the state and local economic development authorities by investing $5.7 million for improvements to the Little Canoe Creek Mega Site.
Phase One of the A-USA Corridor project involves 12 track, signal and yard improvements on Norfolk Southern rail lines between Mobile, Selma and Birmingham.
“The Norfolk Southern rail improvements will bolster capacity, reliability, and market access through the Port of Mobile for regional supply chains,” said John C. Driscoll, director and CEO of the Alabama Port Authority.
The A-USA Corridor is a public-private partnership, with Norfolk Southern funding more than 50 percent of the project. Alabama is investing $5 million in the project, with the remainder coming from federal Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program (CRISI) grants through the Alabama Department of Transportation, in partnership with Norfolk Southern.
“The A-USA Corridor is an innovative public-private partnership that will strengthen the nation’s supply chain at a critical time and boost the regional economy,” said Alan Shaw, president of Norfolk Southern.
“We look forward to working with Governor Ivey and the Port of Mobile to make the A-USA Corridor an engine for job creation in Alabama for years to come.”