Intermodal Terminal is Good News
8 September 2012
By George Hohmann
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia's admission ticket to the
logistics big league was punched Aug. 30 when Gov. Earl Ray
Tomblin and state Secretary of Transportation Paul Mattox
announced that Mountaineer Contractors Inc. of Kingwood had been
awarded a $27.4 million contract to build an intermodal terminal.
The terminal will be built at Prichard, on the Big Sandy River in
Wayne County. It will allow the transfer of containers from rail
cars to trucks and vice versa. It will give West Virginia the
opportunity to reap the rewards of the $249 million Heartland
Corridor, which allows Norfolk Southern to transport
double-stacked containers on its Pocahontas Line through Southern
West Virginia, providing a shortcut between Columbus, Ohio, and
the Port of Virginia in Norfolk.
The Heartland Corridor required the raising of 28 tunnels to allow
rail cars loaded with double-stacked containers to pass through.
The corridor began operating two years ago but West Virginia won't
benefit much until the Prichard terminal opens in late 2014.
Doug York, executive director of the West Virginia Public Port
Authority, said the terminal will give shippers who are within a
150-mile radius a viable alternative to the closest currently
existing intermodal terminals, which are at Columbus, Ohio, and
The terminal will make it cheaper for shippers to move products to
Columbus, Chicago and points west. It also will make West Virginia
a gathering spot for shipments headed overseas -- especially those
headed through the Panama Canal.
A Panama Canal expansion project, also scheduled for completion in
late 2014, will more than double the waterway's capacity and will
result in a shift in trade patterns. Along the East Coast, harbors
are being dredged and rail lines are being expanded to accommodate
the bigger ships that will traverse the canal.
York said, "The terminal allows West Virginia to compete in the
regional and eventually the global marketplace. It will also
result in less traffic on our interstates and save shippers time
It has been estimated that the terminal could eventually spark the
creation of up to 1,000 jobs in the region and take up to 350
trucks a day off of the region's roads.
The terminal was estimated to cost $35 million. Mountaineer
Contractors' winning $27.4 million bid was the lowest.
There are two terminal construction funding sources: A $12 million
U.S. Department of Transportation grant and a tax enacted by the
Legislature in 2008 that brings in about $4.2 million a year to
enhance intermodal facilities throughout the state.
Terminal components include an access road, two 2,400-foot-long
sections of railroad track, more than 190 trailer parking spaces
(where containers may be stacked up to four high), 14 employee
parking spaces, lighting, fencing, landscaping and a security
In addition to the construction contract, Norfolk Southern donated
78 acres for the project. and, in June 2011, the state awarded a
$6.5 million contract to Wayne Concrete Co. of Barboursville for
construction of a bridge that will improve truck access to the
Reach George Hohmann at busin...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4836.