ODOT seeks funding for The Point

Published 10:21 am Thursday, August 26, 2010

SOUTH POINT — More millions may be heading to Lawrence County to add to the massive intermodal project already underway at The Point.

Earlier this month Lawrence County economic development and government officials broke ground for the first phase of a multi-million dollar intermodal facility along the Ohio River and extending into the South Point industrial park.

The long-term project has been touted as a way to develop manufacturing in the region, especially with its location between the Heartland Corridor and Ohio River. The facility will allow the movement of product by water, rail and truck into and out of Lawrence County.

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The first phase is a $2.4 million project focusing on transporting containers or large product like steel from truck to rail or water.

Now county economic leaders are seeking an additional $16.2 million to add to the transformation of the park with dock improvements, a new overhead bridge crane, supporting road infrastructure and new railroad line connections.

That funding would be part of $600 million in new federal funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation for its TIGER II Discretionary Grants program that Ohio Department of Transportation is seeking.

“This is a three-phase project,” Dr. Bill Dingus, executive director of the Lawrence Economic Development Corp., said. “The next step is already approved by the state of Ohio and is the building of a river boom crane that will be able to load things like propeller blades or large items.”

This will be funded from a $9.5 million logistics and distribution grant from the state.

“The third step, hopefully, is to get the TIGER grant that will allow us to build a bridge crane,” Dingus said. “This river needs to be the export hub, not the import hub. It is imperative we move local and regional products to the country and the world. Our goal is to build a strong regional community.”

Other projects ODOT wants funding for include a $12.3 million request to develop an Ohio electrical vehicle infrastructure readiness plan; a $20.2 million for supporting infrastructure for the city’s 3C passenger rail station; and $35 million for Cincinnati’s electric streetcars.