A golden opportunity wasted? While local leaders create domestic partner registries, compete for awards no one has heard of, work to find ways to fund COSI, fight about who is on the LCIC executive committee, we miss out on a tremendous opportunity. CSX will begin construction of a new Intermodal yard in North Baltimore. While not exactly Northwest, Ohio, this is exactly what this area was supposed to specialize in. In doing some research it seems that every area but Toledo (and Cleveland) is opening intermodal facilities. This is exactly the type of thing that the University of Toledo said we should focus on. Let's hope that maybe this was on the radar screen. But if it is news to you as it is to me, and seeing what our current priorities are, then I doubt it was. When will our leaders dig down and address the issues we need? Congratulations North Baltimore, some of us are envious of you.
A report in The Sentinel-Tribune in Bowling Green, Ohio, seems to confirm that assessment. The newspaper quoted Dan Murphy, CSX director of public project, as saying the railroad has acquired nearly all the 500 acres it needs in Ohio, and that while CSX had an alternate site in Indiana, no talks with local government there or preparation work had been done.
"We're working with the local government groups on permitting issues," Murphy was quoted as saying in The Sentinel-Tribune. "I guess we're going through all of the processes. It's positive. We'll probably have an official announcement before the end of the year."
Other areas gain, while we still talk.
Two hours south of Cleveland, for example, final permits are being sought for a $65 million intermodal terminal near Rickenbacker Airport in Columbus that is planned by Norfolk Southern Railway Co.
That terminal would enable truck trailers and containers to be loaded onto rail cars and shipped to locations such as Norfolk, Va. When completed, the Rickenbacker intermodal terminal is projected to create 1,500 jobs.
In southeast Columbus, CSX Corp. is countering with a proposed140-acre intermodal hub at Parsons Yard so that trucked freight can be loaded onto freight trains heading for various destinations including Florida and the West Coast. The cost of that project is $75 million.
When Akron's new Intermodal Transportation Center opens in January 2009, it will be where all Metro Regional Transit bus transfers are made.
According to Francis, the facility in North Baltimore, Ohio, already has the required land for the facility.