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Published: Monday, 3/16/2009

Toledo seeks nearly $9 million from state for intermodal project

BLADE STAFF

Toledo officials have submitted a grant application to the Ohio Department of Development seeking nearly $9 million to pay for most of the cost of modernizing the Norfolk Southern intermodal yard in South Toledo.

According to an analysis submitted with the application on Friday, track lengthening and reconfiguration, and other improvements to this facility would create nearly 900 new jobs and a $25.6 million annual payroll, it was announced Mondy morning during a press conference held by Mayor Carty Finkbeiner and members of the Joint Intermodal Task Force at the Scott Park campus of the University of Toledo.

"This Norfolk Southern intermodal site over here is a slam dunk," the mayor said. "This intermodal [proposal] is a huge, huge part of an economic renaissance in northwest Ohio. The sooner we get at it, the better."

Jim Tuschman, the task force's chairman, said Norfolk Southern has agreed to provide up to $4 million for improvements with track and signal if the project moves forward. The grant application seeks the balance of the project's $12.76 million estimated cost from the state.

Rich Martinko, the director of UT's Intermodal Transportation Institute, said he expects an initial response from Columbus within a week to 10 days. That is when the project team should learn whether it will get an interview to pitch the project to state officials.



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