New York State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Paul A. Karas announced Tuesday the award of $19 million in State funding toward construction of Central New York's first Inland Port in the Town of DeWitt, Onondaga County. The Central New York Inland Port will allow for containerized freight to be moved between the Port of New York and New Jersey and the existing CSX rail-freight terminal in the Town of Dewitt. This new infrastructure investment in Central New York will facilitate the efficient and cost-effective movement of containerized freight once it reaches the shore by rail as opposed to large trucks. The reduced shipping costs and environmental benefits of transportation by rail will make regional exports such as agricultural products, metals and wood to Asia and other international destinations more competitive.
“With the completion of projects by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to enhance shipping and freight capacity, New York State is now positioned to accept some of the world’s largest container ships,” Acting Commissioner Karas said. “Governor Cuomo’s support of the new Central New York containerized handling facility will reduce shipping costs and make the region’s exports more economically competitive both nationally and internationally.”
Nearly 80 percent of all freight in New York State moves by truck. As freight tonnage is projected to increase by more than 50 percent over the next 20 years, Governor Cuomo is making strategic investments in the State’s roadways, airports and rails to ensure that New York remains economically competitive for generations to come.
As part of this strategic investment in the Central New York region, the State will assist CSX with the realignment and modernization of the existing rail yard at DeWitt to handle stacked, non-wheeled international shipping containers, including installing new crane equipment and lifts; upgrading security and deploying technology enhancements to allow for International import/export services; and constructing new areas at the rail yard required for the stacking and handling of shipping containers.
In addition to leveraging privately-funded complementary improvements made along the rail corridor serving the region, this project will reduce the transportation costs of moving freight between the Port of New York and New Jersey and Central New York by as much as $500 per container; facilitate regional economic growth through increased exports by five-day per week reliable rail service; retain and create freight-related jobs; and remove large trucks from both the New York Metropolitan area and from Interstate 81. When fully operational, this new intermodal import-export service will handle approximately 30,000 containers annually.
Funding made available for this project is part of a $65 million initiative established by Governor Cuomo to renew and modernize upstate port and rail-hub infrastructure. Funding has previously been awarded to the Port of Albany ($15 million) and the Port of Ogdensburg ($10 million) for port-related improvements.
CSX Vice President of Intermodal Dean Piacente said, “CSX appreciates the opportunity to partner with the State of New York on this intermodal project that will leverage the environmental and public benefits of rail to enhance connectivity between the PANYNJ and Upstate New York. The state’s investment in this project will allow CSX to increase the capacity of our Dewitt terminal near Syracuse to support international intermodal service, creating a distinct competitive advantage for the state and expanding market access for the region’s businesses and consumers.”
Port Authority Port Department Director Molly Campbell said, “The Port Authority welcomes increased intermodal rail connectivity to Syracuse, NY. By increasing rail capability to include international containers, the opportunity to increase import and export distribution via the Port of New York and New Jersey will be enhanced. Growing intermodal volume through the port is a strategic priority. In addition to the environmental benefits, rail service to and from the port provides a competitive transportation option and access to international markets for businesses in upstate New York.”
Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney said, “This is an important step in the creation of a new Inland Port in Dewitt and will further bolster our local and regional economy. I commend Governor Cuomo and the State Department of Transportation for moving this strategic plan forward.”
MACNY President & CEO Randy Wolken said, “MACNY and its members are excited for the new Inland Port in our community and the opportunity it presents. This facility will significantly lower the cost of container transportation and provide for a safe and reliable way to get Central New York’s products delivered globally. We have one of the most competitive manufacturing and technology sectors anywhere in the world. This will only enhance our ability to thrive in today’s global markets.”
Accelerating Central NY Rising
Tuesday's announcement complements “Central NY Rising,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $4.7 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – capitalizing on global market opportunities, strengthening entrepreneurship and creating an inclusive economy. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Syracuse, Oswego and Auburn as a destination to grow and invest in.
Now, the region is accelerating Central NY Rising with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 5,900 new jobs. More information is available here.