The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Maritime Administration (MarAd):
(CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas) — U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administrator Paul "Chip" Jaenichen joined federal, state and local officials at the Port of Corpus Christi for a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday marking a major step forward in the development of an expanded rail yard. A 2012 $10 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant provided the foundation needed for the $17 million project.
“This project alleviates a crippling bottleneck in one of our nation’s key export zones,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “That’s why we need Congress to pass the Grow America Act, because it will support critical projects like this and many others around the country that will improve the way we move goods while fueling continued economic growth.”
The rail yard will improve efficiency of existing cargo movement at Port Corpus Christi’s multimodal facilities, which previously had been a constraint on the port’s activities. The increased rail capacity of the Nueces River Rail Yard will help the port meet rising demands for project cargo shipping and anticipated increases in freight flows driven by global trade. It is anticipated that the expanded multimodal transit options will reduce carbon emissions, decrease congestion on landside corridors, and cut highway maintenance costs over the next 30 years.
“It is projects like this that are keeping America strong,” Jaenichen said. “Making freight flow smoother, faster, and more efficiently is exactly what this administration envisioned when it created TIGER grants, and it is precisely what the Grow America Act can deliver on a much larger scale.”
Grow America would more than double the amount of funds available to TIGER for the next six years. Grow America is the administration’s legislative proposal for surface transportation that provides six years of funding certainty, increased investment in infrastructure, and smart policies that ensure taxpayers get more bang for their buck and that communities can enjoy the benefits of projects sooner.