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Port Authority announces intermodal container facility for Decatur

DECATUR – The River City is about to live up to its moniker, following today’s announcement by the Alabama Port Authority.

The agency said it will redevelop a portion of a CSX Transportation in Decatur for an intermodal container transfer facility – the state’s third such facility. The others are in Mobile and Montgomery.

The new facility is in partnership with CSX and will complete rail connectivity from the intermodal facility at the Port of Mobile to customers in the central and northern parts of the state, a news release said.

“The partnership between the Alabama Port Authority and CSX Transportation to establish this facility in Decatur not only acknowledges our accomplishments but also signifies a momentous stride in shaping the trajectory of Decatur’s economic impact statewide,” said Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling. “The establishment of the North Alabama ICTF brings immense economic potential to Decatur and the entire North Alabama region, and I am thrilled to witness the realization of the North Alabama ICTF project in Decatur.

“This is a landmark achievement in bolstering our city’s economic vitality.”

Port Authority officials said the North Alabama intermodal facility marks the next step in the agency’s inland rail expansion and follows the ongoing success of its first inland rail partnership with CSX in Montgomery. More than $2.28 billion in private investments have been announced in the area since the Montgomery ICTF project began in 2022.

“We are excited to announce the location of our second inland rail facility in Alabama, furthering our dedication to advancing logistics infrastructure in the region,” said Alabama Port Authority Director and CEO John Driscoll. “This expansion not only signifies our confidence in the local economy but also reflects our ongoing efforts to meet the evolving needs of our customers while contributing to the growth of the communities we serve.”

In addition to creating job opportunities, fostering economic development, and providing a boost to the overall transportation network in North Alabama, the facility will relieve truck traffic on interstate and highway systems. One intermodal train can take up to 250 trucks off the roads, getting cargo closer to its final destination.

“CSX is proud to be part of the strategic collaboration with the Alabama Port Authority in establishing the North Alabama ICTF in Decatur. This project demonstrates our commitment to foster growth, connect markets, and propel economic progress for the region,” said Maryclare Kenney, CSX Vice President of Intermodal & Auto. “The facility’s strategic location improves multi-modal flexibility throughout the state and creates sustainable, dynamic, rail-to-truck transportation solutions for our customers.

“The North Alabama ICTF is a testament to CSX’s focus on delivering innovative, value-added solutions for our partners and stakeholders.”

The new facility is expected to bring myriad benefits to the region. Other planned investments include constructing an inter-terminal connector bridge to create on-dock rail access at the container terminal, modernizing general cargo piers, and developing an inland intermodal facility in North Alabama.

“This facility not only enhances our connectivity within the region but also underscores Decatur’s commitment to fostering innovation and sustainable growth,” said Decatur City Council President Jacob Ladner. “We anticipate that this project will play a pivotal role in elevating Decatur’s standing as a key player in the Southeast’s economic landscape, bringing about increased opportunities and prosperity for our community and beyond.”

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