Old 07-26-2005, 12:45 AM   #1
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Default Groundbreaking for NS Rickenbacker Intermodal Facility, Columbus, OH

Groundbreaking for Rickenbacker Intermodal Facility
Columbus, Ohio - July 25, 2005

Remarks by:
Charles W. Moorman
Norfolk Southern Corporation

I am pleased to join you, and I appreciate all of you for being here today. On behalf of Norfolk Southern, I particularly want to thank you for the important roles you have played in getting us to this pivotal event.

Today, we celebrate a ground-breaking that is both literal and symbolic. We break ground today for the Rickenbacker intermodal facility; and, we break new ground in the implementation of transportation policy driven by the mutual benefits of public-private partnership.

The Rickenbacker facility is a model of cooperative efforts by many of you here and some who could not be with us but deserve to be recognized for their contributions.

Congressman Dave Hobson, we are grateful for your vision in recognizing the strategic value of placing a new intermodal facility in the region and for your work in organizing support on Capitol Hill.

For a project of this magnitude, it is vitally important to have the right team on Capitol Hill. Central Ohio has the right team in Washington , and they are here today. The support of U.S. Reps. Deborah Pryce and Pat Tiberi has been outstanding, along with that of Sens. Mike DeWine and George Voinovich.

On the local level, we at Norfolk Southern greatly appreciate the leadership and cooperation that Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman, City Council member Mary Jo Hudson, and Pickaway County Commission President John Stevenson have demonstrated in helping bring this project to fruition.

As a result of the willingness and hard work of local governments and interests here to work together and overcome differences, you have achieved something that will benefit everyone.

Kathy Ransier, we consider it a privilege to be business partners with the Columbus Regional Airport Authority. We could not have asked for more capable people to work with than Elaine Roberts and her staff. The Columbus Chamber and its Advanced Logistics effort have also been invaluable in evaluating and representing the needs and opportunities of central Ohio ’s business community.

At the state level, Gov. Bob Taft, Lt. Gov. Bruce Johnson, state Sens. David Goodman and John Carey, and state Reps. Larry Flowers and John Schlichter have been key to getting this facility under way. Your state officials have been focused and dedicated to economic development and to creating a growth environment for business in Ohio .

This project will make the lower-cost transportation option of rail intermodal available to businesses and shippers throughout central Ohio . Lower-cost transportation helps this area compete with other areas for economic development and job growth.

In combination with the Rickenbacker Airport, the concentration of warehouse and distribution centers and an excellent highway system, this project supports central Ohio's growth toward becoming one of the nation's advanced logistics epicenters.

Norfolk Southern’s transportation network has the capacity to handle Ohio ’s growth, and the addition of the Rickenbacker facility will strengthen our network here in Columbus and throughout central Ohio .

We have more than 2,200 miles of railroad in Ohio , and more than 4,000 Ohio residents work for Norfolk Southern.

Columbus historically has been highly important for us as a major player in the distribution network. It has been so successful, in fact, that the intermodal rail transportation infrastructure is stretched almost beyond capacity. The Rickenbacker facility is designed to solve that issue so the region can remain competitive.

The facility that will be built here will provide the capacity to elevate Columbus to the next level. Columbus is the western anchor of our multistate Heartland Corridor project that will facilitate movement of freight between the mid-Atlantic Coast and the Midwest .

Your congressional leaders have been effective advocates for the entire Heartland Corridor initiative here and elsewhere. Rep. Pryce deserves credit for mustering support for needed tunnel improvements in West Virginia in addition to her efforts on behalf of the Rickenbacker facility.

The result will be continuing competitive transportation costs for central Ohio , and the ability to handle growth in the movement of freight without overtaxing our already constrained long-haul highway capacity. It will help alleviate congestion and enhance mobility on Ohio ’s highways.

As I said in opening, as a public policy initiative, Rickenbacker is a model of successful public-private partnership. We applaud your cooperative efforts and your focus on mutual benefits. Without all of the parties represented here today – U.S. House and Senate, the statehouse, local government – this project would not be happening.

Norfolk Southern thanks you for the privilege of being your transportation partner. We look forward to expanding our partnership in the years ahead as we make Rickenbacker the pre-eminent logistics center of mid-America.

Dave Kerr
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Old 10-25-2005, 04:14 AM   #2
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In combination with the Rickenbacker Airport, the concentration of warehouse and distribution centers and an excellent highway system, this project supports central Ohio's growth toward becoming one of the nation's advanced logistics epicenters.
I'm finally getting to this thread after 3 months, and I can tell you what- I sure as heck hope that the city and state are already planning on widening I-270 on the south side of town to 6 lanes as well as fixing the god-awful interchange with I-71 that was designed in the '60s when there wasn't any traffic to speak of. (I'm almost certain they're not being proactive) There are simply too many tight/slow ramps with heavy merges (four lanes into two in about 1000ft) that could potentially cripple traffic in this stretch.

At least they caught the highway sniper that made a mess of that area a few years ago.

Otherwise, this is a great addition to our city!
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