Digest: Palm Beach port gets federal funds for rail expansion

News Wire Digest second section for Oct. 14: BNSF will repair, not replace, landmark Seattle drawbridge; West Virginia town puts suit of NS on hold as talks begin
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Port of Palm Beach logo
Wednesday morning rail infrastructure news:

Port of Palm Beach receives $13.2 million grant for rail expansion
The Port of Palm Beach, Fla., has received a $13.2 million federal grant to expand its rail infrastructure, more than doubling its intermodal capacity. In a press release, the Port says it will expand capacity from 44,000 20-foot equivalent units to 95,000 TEUs per year, replace old rail with new, relocate its truck interchange, and add security features. “Expanding our rail infrastructure will allow the Port of Palm Beach to reach its full potential as a major economic engine by maximizing cargo efficiencies,” said Wayne Richards, chairman of the port district. The port expects to break ground on the project within a year.

BNSF will repair, not replace, landmark Seattle-area bridge
BNSF Railway will repair, not replace, a 106-year bridge over Salmon Bay in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, reversing its intention announced two years ago. MyNorthwest.com reports the railroad will save about $50 million through its plan to replace just the key portions of the drawbridge mechanism — the trunnion bearings and the million-pound concrete counterweight — while leaving much of the bridge, a local landmark, as is. The railroad said it decided to change course based on feedback from local residents and the maritime community. The bridge crosses one end of the Ballard Locks, part of the Lake Washington Ship Canal.

Bluefield, W.Va., puts NS lawsuit on hold as railroad begins talks over bridge
The city of Bluefield, W.Va., has put its plans to sue Norfolk Southern on hold after the railroad contacted the city to begin “serious, substantive discussions” about a bridge dispute, according to the city’s mayor. WVVA-TV reports that Mayor Ron Washington said that while he can’t guarantee the talks will bring success, “we believe that they have approached us in good faith. We hope that, together, we will be able to forge a path forward for the Grant Street Bridge.” The city began preparations to sue in September over what it believes are the railroad’s failures to meet its obligations to maintain the bridge, which has been closed since June 2019, cutting off the direct route between the city’s downtown and its east end and north side [see “Digest: Springfield Terminal receives $16.9 million …,” Trains News Wire, Sept. 22, 2020].



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