DOT awards $19 million to construction of inland port at CSX rail yard in DeWitt

A rail yard owned by CSX in DeWitt is the only viable option for an inland port in Central New York, according to a study released by the New York Department of Transportation. (CNYCentral file photo of a CSX rail yard)

The New York State Department of Transportation announced Tuesday the award of $19 million to go toward constructing central New York's first inland port in the Town of DeWitt.

The 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.

The goal of the inland port would be to reduce shipping costs and decrease the number of large trucks on Interstate 81. 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.

A study by the DOT released in December found that the rail yard is the only viable option for an inland port in central New York.

According to the DOT, nearly 80 percent of all freight in New York moves by truck. Freight tonnage is projected to increase by more than 50 percent over the next 20 years.

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.

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