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Georgia Department of Transportation

04/02/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/02/2024 11:41

Georgia DOT partners with Norfolk Southern Corporation to fund freight rail improvements in Henry County

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For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, April 2, 2024
Contact:
[email protected]
Georgia Department of Transportation partners with Norfolk Southern Corporation to fund freight rail improvements in Henry County

ATLANTA - The Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT) has approved an $8.4 million grant to Norfolk Southern Corporation's McDonough passing track improvement project in Henry County as part of the first round of the newly created Georgia Freight Rail Program.

"Georgia DOT is excited to announce this first round of grants being made available under this new freight rail funding program and are pleased to award this grant toNorfolk Southern Corporation," said Russell R. McMurry, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation. "Georgia's freight rail network is a key economic driver and a vital component of our overall transportation network. This project will provide many benefits to Henry County and the state."

"This funding represents a springboard for growth for our Henry County operations, thanks to the invaluable support from Georgia DOT and local officials," said Norfolk Southern SVP & Chief Strategy Officer Mike McClellan. "It's a triple win: enhancing service for our local customers, improving mainline train access across our 22-state network, and easing congestion along the way. These infrastructure improvements will bolster our operational efficiency while driving economic growth across the region, promising enduring benefits for our communities."

The grant aids in funding a portion of Norfolk Southern's Atlanta South District passing track on the busy rail line between Macon and Atlanta in Henry County. This is a key freight rail corridor connecting the Georgia Port Authority Garden City Terminal and the Metro Atlanta area.

"This announcement is exciting for my constituents and me as it will help to reduce the number of blocked crossings in Henry County," said Georgia State Senator Brian Strickland. "We were glad to have had an opportunity to bring all the parties together on site to demonstrate the issues that exist and the critical need for this project."

The proposal was fully supported by Henry County and the cities of Locust Grove and McDonough.

"The funding for this project was made possible by recent legislation and a budget which I was proud to support," said Georgia State Representative Lauren Daniel. "Given the impact of stopped trains and blocked crossings, the district I represent and the citizens of Henry County will see firsthand the benefits of this project for years to come."

The total cost of the Norfolk Southern project is estimated to be $21 million. The project will improve the rail infrastructure by extending the current passing track at McDonough to more than double its current length, allowing more efficient use of tracks and reducing road crossings blocked by trains.

Grants are being made available as part of this new freight rail funding program established during Georgia's 2021 Legislative Session under O.C.G.A. §48-8-78. Administered by Georgia DOT and subject to annual appropriations through the legislature, the program is designed to enhance Georgia's investment in freight rail for public benefit. Both Class 1 and Short line rail lines are eligible.

Norfolk Southern's $8.4 million grant is the largest of a total of six Georgia Freight Rail Program grants announced recently by Georgia DOT.

The Georgia Department of Transportation is committed to providing a safe, seamless, and sustainable transportation system that supports Georgia's economy and is sensitive to both its citizens and its environment. For more information on Georgia DOT, please visit www.dot.ga.gov. You also may follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/GeorgiaDOT) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/gadeptoftrans).

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