- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) - The Port of Pascagoula is seeking construction bids on the first phase of a $44 million intermodal improvement project.

The project will relocate the downtown Pascagoula railroad interchange and build a wood pellet export terminal on Bayou Casotte.

Port director Mark McAndrews told The Mississippi Press (https://bit.ly/1ruqH9V ) the port is advertising for bids on the demolition of the Terminal E and F shed and bulkhead repairs at the Bayou Casotte facility.

Most of the early work will be “happening inside the port gates, so it won’t really be visible to the public early on,” he said. “But it’s important that we get this started.”

This initial work will pave the way for the wood pellet export facility, McAndrews said, and work on the railroad relocation should be underway by the second quarter of 2015.

The port is receiving $14 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to relocate the railroad interchange. An interchange is where one railroad hands off rail cars to another railroad.

The project includes rail improvements, a rail unloading pit to facilitate bulk deliveries and the shed demolition/bulkhead repairs, among other work.

It’ll reroute a portion of the Mississippi Export Railroad’s line, and it will move the interchange from downtown Pascagoula to east of Mississippi Highway 63.

A total of 16 rail crossings will be removed through Moss Point and Pascagoula.

The $14 million grant is part of the port’s larger $44 million intermodal improvement project that will also create a more efficient rail connection into the port and build the wood pellet export terminal on Bayou Casotte.

The federal funds will be combined with $10 million from the state, $15 million from the port and $5 million from the private sector to better transport goods in and out of Bayou Casotte.

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Information from: The Mississippi Press, https://www.gulflive.com

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