State helps Port expands with $40M Rail Investment
State helps Port expand with $40M rail investment
By BENJAMIN KALI firstname.lastname@example.org | Posted: Friday, April 10,2015 4:00am
OSWEGO- The recently approved state budget includes a $40 million investment in central New York rail lines and rail yards that will help connect the Port of Oswego Authority to the Port of New York and New Jersey.
With construction of intermodal rail yards in Central New York and some minor construction in Newark, N.J., port officials say they will be able to ship more cargo directly to and from New York City, creating a getway for signficant international shipping.
“It’s huge,” said the port executive director, Zelko Kirincich. “ By the time [project] is done it will lead to economic propriety for the region.” Kirincich said the project could mean jobs, both short and long term and both direct and indirect, throughout the area. Not just construction work either, but jobs for future businesses looking for an attractive location with solid shipping opportunities.
“The governor is aware of the potential of the area,”Kirincich said.” We have been approached by some very large entities looking to make this region commercially viable again.” Some of the investment will go toward repairing and upgrading existing rail lines through Central New York, with port officials arguing shipping by rail is significantly cheaper than other methods.
“We’re expecting construction to start this summer,” said Terry Hammill, chairman of the port board of directors. “We’d like to have this thing in effect by next shipping season. There’s already substantial infrastructure that needs upgrading and expanding.” In January, after Gov. Andrew Cuomo released his initial budget proposal, officals said a rail yard would be constructed in Syracuse and Binghamton. Kirincich said the port is essentially in the process of “becoming a regional port authority,” with transportation hubs impacting the entire state.
While the overall work is still in the preliminary phases, Kirincich said the port is working to have the system of rail, truck and ship intercon-nectedness operational “in concert with Panama Canal opening in 2016.” Hammill said the port has been working on plans for the project for several months, and that it coincides with significant boosts in revenue for the port over the last few years. He says this year the port is edging closer to $5 million in revenue, and budgeting for more than $5.5 next year.
“We’re in a position to compete with anybody anywhere,”he said, echoing Kirincich’s point that businesses might be drawn to Central New York with greater opportunity for shipments.”We’re in a prefect location to provide routes to a wide spectrum of prospective customers.”
Click here to view a related TV interview on Channel 9 News -
The mission of the Port of Oswego Authority is to serve as an economic catalyst in the Central New York Development Council District Region by providing diversified and efficient transportation services and conducting operations in a manner that promotes regional growth and development while being mindful of our responsibility to serve as a steward of the environment.
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