Lehigh Valley Inland Port Discussions Continue
By LVEDC Staff on September 16, 2014
Another step toward securing an economic development tool to enhance our region’s competitiveness recently took place.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey hosted a discussion and luncheon on September 12th at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem about the concept of a new rail intermodal service between them and the City of Bethlehem.
Several public officials including representatives of U.S. Sen. Robert Casey (D-Pa.), U.S. Congressman Charlie Dent (R-15th), Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez and Easton Mayor Sal Panto, along with representatives of Norfolk Southern Corp. and Lehigh Valley Rail Management for the briefing.
LVEDC president and CEO Don Cunningham served as master of ceremonies for the luncheon.
“This is significant because inland ports provide a critical link in our region’s supply chains,” said Cunningham. “Intermodal allows efficiency advantages because it bypasses some congested roadways and also offers savings for companies because rail is direct and cheap.”
He added the following statement.
“Infrastructure is the underpinning of growth,” Cunningham said.
More than 140 regional executives attended the luncheon as the significance of the inland port venture is discussed. In addition, the Port Authority shared details about the latest improvements in operations and services.
Dennis Lombardi, deputy director of the port commerce department at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, noted during his presentation of the port’s commitment to maximize the efficiency, cost competitiveness, safety and quality of cargo operations in the port.
“The level of cooperation you have here in the Lehigh Valley is outstanding,” Lombardi said of the local partnership.
The Lehigh Valley Rail Management’s intermodal terminal in Bethlehem consists of two adjacent areas for handling conventional intermodal (TOFC/COFC) and Triple Crown Services (Roadrailer equipment) with a total of more than 4.6 miles of track. There is 9,000 feet of track for conventional intermodal and more than 14,000 feet for Triple Crown Services loading and unloading. The terminal has a total of 1,200 trailer parking spaces with gate facilities and a truck scale. The terminal is located less than one mile off Exit 67 of Interstate 78 and handles multiple inbound and outbound trains, seven days a week, with a capacity exceeding 120,000 lifts per year.
The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey conceives, builds, operates and maintains infrastructure critical to the New York/New Jersey region’s trade and transportation network. These facilities include America’s busiest airport system, marine terminals and ports, the PATH rail transit system, six tunnels and bridges between New York and New Jersey, the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan, and the World Trade Center site. For more than eight decades, the Port Authority has worked to improve the quality of life for the more than 17 million people who live and work in New York and New Jersey – a region that supports 8.6 million jobs with an estimated gross regional product of more than $929 billion.
Norfolk Southern Corporation is one of the nation’s premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates about 20,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a major transporter of coal and industrial products.
LVEDC is building tomorrow’s economy today by performing several functions: marketing our region for business retention and attraction, land and site redevelopment, site location assistance, research, regional development and financing. With all of these resources at one location, LVEDC serves as a single point of contact to companies and consultants as they make location/expansion decisions. This one-stop approach to economic development allows LVEDC to be the facilitator, helping clients gather information, make the appropriate contacts and answer the many questions facing decision makers as they look for the right building, property or site location.
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