Iowa lands $25 million grant for one-of-a-kind freight hub in Cedar Rapids

$46.5 million facility to be built in Cedar Rapids


The Iowa Department of Transportation has been granted $25.7 million to construct an intermodal transportation hub in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  The facility will be built southwest of the Highway 30 and Edgewood Road SW interchange, along the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railway – or CRANDIC.  [The Gazette]

Mitchell Schmidt of The Gazette, mentions,

“Craig Markley, director of Iowa DOT’s office of systems planning, said the facility is planned to incorporate three components — intermodal facilities for freight to truck — and vice versa — transfer; a cross-docking facility for truck-to-truck transfers; and a bulk fright storage and transfer operation.

With the state’s only intermodal facility located in Council Bluffs, and the new project incorporating three different freight components into a single location, it is unique, Markley said.

“I’m not aware of very many sites like that,” he said. “It really leverages the benefits of the different modes. It combines their strengths … and helps with efficiencies.”

The money, made available through the Fostering Advancements in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-term Achievement of National Efficiencies — or FASTLANE — grant program, covers a portion of the $46.5 million project cost.

The remaining $21 million gap is coming from private partners.”


American Shipper’s, Chris Gillis states that the intermodal hub will cover 75 acres next to the sprawling Smith-Dows railyard operated by the CRANDIC railroad that’s owned and operated by Alliant Energy Transportation.

“It will provide Iowa and surrounding states with access to a high-capacity, efficient, and cost-competitive facility to move goods from truck to rail and vice versa, generating significant mobility, reliability, and economic outcomes,” the office of Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad said in a statement. [American Shipper]

The FASTLANE program mentioned above was created by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which is the first federal law in over a decade to provide long-term funding certainty for surface transportation infrastructure planning and investment. The FAST Act authorizes $305 billion over fiscal years 2016 through 2020 for highway, highway and motor vehicle safety, public transportation, motor carrier safety, hazardous materials safety, rail, and research, technology, and statistics programs. The FAST Act maintains our focus on safety, keeps intact the established structure of the various highway-related programs we manage, continues efforts to streamline project delivery and, for the first time, provides a dedicated source of federal dollars for freight projects. With the enactment of the FAST Act, states and local governments are now moving forward with critical transportation projects with the confidence that they will have a federal partner over the long term.  Their interactive website is very resourceful. Check it out here.