The news this week that CSX and the City of
Baltimore had settled on a site for the
proposed intermodal terminal bought a sigh of relief to some people in
Elkridge. When state and railroad officials originally announced that a 90 acre
site in Hanover
was one of four finalists for the facility, residents organized to stop it.
They weren’t the only winners in this battle. As Councilperson Courtney Watson pointed out to me early this week, the new location in the
area of the city will be a good deal less expensive. Initial estimates for the Morrell
Park Hanover site put the total cost around $140
million with the state and feds picking up half the tab. The city site,
expanding an existing rail yard, is projected to cost $90 million with no
federal subsidy. The state has agreed to spend about $30 million on the
project. Because federal monies are not part of the new equation, the project
is no longer subject to the dreaded National Environmental Policy Act
(NEPA) process which added time and additional costs. That has to be also considered
a win for CSX.
So what is to become of the
The land remains zoned M2, HoCo’s designation for heavy industry. Already, Aggregate Management Inc. (Laurel Sand and Gravel) is moving ahead with plans for a new asphalt plant on ten acres of the site that was previously optioned to CSX. With the scarcity of M2 land in the corridor, it is unlikely that the balance of the property will remain undeveloped much longer.