~Projected to Create Thousands of Jobs & Billions in Capital Investment~
Today, Governor Rick Scott was joined by local and statewide elected officials and executives from several Florida-based companies at the ceremonial groundbreaking for the construction of the Winter Haven Intermodal Rail Terminal. According to an economic impact study conducted by HDR Engineering, construction of the Evansville Western Railway terminal is projected to create up to 8,500 annual jobs and generate more than $10 billion in economic development over a 10 year period.
Governor Scott said, “My number one priority is to create jobs for Florida families. This groundbreaking means more jobs, more opportunities for our communities – and underscores Florida’s importance in global commerce. We have more work to do, but we are clearly on the right track for greater job creation.”
The Winter Haven Rail Terminal will be constructed and operated by Evansville Western Railway (EVWR), an affiliate of Jacksonville-based CSX Transportation. The state-of-the-art terminal will serve CSX’s growing intermodal business and allow CSX to serve customers in Orlando, Tampa and South Florida.
The terminal will be built on 318 acres and will include five 3,000-ft. loading tracks and two 10,000-ft. arrival and departure tracks. The tracks will be spanned by three electric Rail-Mounted Gantry (RMG) Cranes that will unload and load trains. The use of electric cranes instead of diesel-powered cranes will help reduce noise and emissions. The 318-acre terminal is adjacent to 930 acres that CSX has an option to purchase from the City of Winter Haven. The intermodal terminal will serve as a magnet for the development of distribution centers, warehousing and manufacturing facilities on the adjacent property.
Together, the two properties will form the Winter Haven Integrated Logistics Center (ILC), which will be a critical asset for economic development in Florida.
Construction of the Evansville Western Railway terminal will create an estimated 200 construction jobs. EVWR and its contractors have partnered with the local workforce development board, Polk Works, to identify qualified local suppliers and subcontractors to provide jobs and supplier opportunities. The Governor highlighted several Florida-based companies that have benefited from the construction, including:
- Hanson Concrete Pipe, which operates one of the largest automated pipe plants in the United States located in Winter Haven, has supplied all the precast concrete drainage pipes for the terminal. Mack Industries, also based near Winter Haven, is supplying all the concrete underground junction boxes.
- Large amounts of project materials are being purchased locally, from companies like CEMEX in Winter Haven, Conrad Yelvington in Mulberry, Hanson Industries in Orlando and Jahna Industries of Clermont.
- Over 80% of the design and engineering of the project is being performed in Florida, using consultants from Winter Haven, Orlando, Jacksonville and other locations.
- Ring Power Corporation, a Florida company headquartered in St. Augustine, is a full line dealer of Caterpillar equipment for north and central Florida. Through their Polk County sales office, Ring Power has supplied two articulated trucks, five hydraulic excavators, eight track-type tractors and one compactor for the construction of the terminal.
- Winter Haven-based Whitehead Construction was recently hired to build four buildings on site. Other local subcontractors include Leware Construction of Leesburg and MSE Walls of Kissimmee.
According to the economic impact study conducted by HDR Engineering, at full build-out, the Winter Haven ILC will create 8,500 annual jobs with a total annual payroll of $282.2 million. Over a 10 year period, the ILC is projected to generate more than $10 billion in economic development and add $900 million in state and federal tax revenue.
According to Winter Haven Mayor J.P. Powell, the construction of the rail terminal has already had a positive impact on the economy. “Winter Haven is on track for great success with the start of this exciting economic engine. This project represents another step towards reshaping our economy, building critically needed infrastructure, and providing meaningful jobs for our residents and our community,” Mayor Powell said.
Michael Ward, President, Chairman and CEO of CSX, joined Governor Scott in touring the construction site. “CSX looks forward to serving Evansville Western’s Winter Haven intermodal terminal, which enhances Florida’s world-renowned capabilities in transportation and logistics,” said Ward. “Florida is fortunate to have visionary state and local leaders who understand and leverage opportunities to support businesses that create jobs and spur economic development.”
The Winter Haven Rail Terminal is expected to be operational by May 2014.