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The Port of New Orleans' board hosted government and industry representatives on Tuesday to dedicate the new $25 million Mississippi River Intermodal Terminal, which was designed to facilitate the movement of rail and marine cargo.The terminal — made possible by a $16.7 million federal grant through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program — has the capacity for moving 160,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units per year by rail, port officials said in a press release. The new intermodal rail yard features four tracks with 1,550 feet of working pad for each track, in addition to a runaround track. Two new rubber-tired gantry cranes built by Konecranes are part of the project scope, further increasing cargo handling and efficiency.A new marshaling yard of 18-inch concrete paving will provide an additional 64,000 TEUs of capacity in the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal. In addition, the new terminal design will make 5 more acres available for the planned expansion of the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal, port officials said.The new terminal offers on-dock access and an improved link for CN, which is expanding its inland reach, said John Orr, the railroad's senior vice president-Southern Region."CN is proud to be the primary intermodal solution for the Port of New Orleans serving the major geographical freight hubs in North America," Orr said in the press release. "CN is working in collaboration with our partners to continue to grow the business through strategic marketing initiatives."The new intermodal rail yard will help improve shipping logistics "tremendously," which will in turn help increase the port's cargo business, said David Schulingkamp, chairman of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, the short line that provides the port's connectivity to its six Class I partners."New Orleans is a major player for national and international cargo operations and now we have the assets and capabilities needed to remain competitive at the highest level in the global market," Schulingkamp said.
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