The award is the result of a grant proposal submitted by the port earlier this year in response to a competitive funding opportunity offered by the US Department of Commerce and is not part of any federal stimulus programme.
The 14mile (22.5km) long single-track Blount Island rail system is owned by JAXPORT. CSX Transportation provides cargo movement by rail to and from the terminal for JAXPORT tenants, as well as for the US Marine Corps command unit that is also situated on Blount Island. More than 30% of all Blount Island cargo moves by rail, with the remainder moving by truck.
The Blount Island rail system is more than 40 years old and the grant project calls for the replacement of functionally obsolete track and it will entail the installation of more than 3.5 miles (5.6km) of new rail, the replacement of over 12,000 timber ties and the construction of 15 new turnouts. JAXPORT will contribute US$1.7m in matching funds to the project cost.