Can enhancing DeWitt CSX rail yard be a true Inland Port?

New independent study: DeWitt rail yard "only viable option" for Inland Port

DEWITT, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - The New York State DOT says a new study on the viability of a new Central New York Inland Port facility is only the starting point of a longer process.

The study conducted by Resource Systems Group, Inc. says the DeWitt CSX rail yard "appears to be the only currently viable site for a potential Inland Port location".

DOT says the main goal of the project is to reduce the cost of shipping to the region.

The report identifies cost reduction of approximately $500 per container and DOT says that would help grow the market in Central New York.

An Inland Port has come into the spotlight with the need of the Port of New York and New Jersey to alleviate the crush of bigger ships delivering more containers there than ever before.

"To me an Inland Port is a terminal on a rail that also encompasses a lot of acreage and the acreage then holds different services warehouses, container freight stations."  Rich Roche tells NewsChannel 9.

Rich Roche is the Vice President of International Transportation for Mohawk Global Logistics headquartered on the property of Syracuse's Hancock Airport.

Roche was interviewed for the market study and says the fact it would be limited by the constraint of 200 acres, a good deal of which is wetlands, may limit somewhat the use of the Inland Port.
"If you can do your services right on the port that would be the best and eliminate total costs handled most efficiently.  So could it be an Inland Port sure, it wouldn't be necessarily the largest one compared to some of the other sites."  Roche says. 

By phone Thursday, the State DOT in Albany tells NewsChannel 9 that there's nothing that precludes warehousing with this project in DeWitt, especially with the amount of space available near the rail yard but not necessarily on it.

They add that there is no DEIS or Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the project, but any improvements would go through the SEQR or State Environmental Quality Review Process.

The DOT says the DeWitt project would save New York State millions of dollars in costs compared to building a brand new facility at another location.

The Camillus wastebeds and the old Jamesville Quarry are the other two sites that have been considered for an Inland Port.

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