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59 CHAPTER 5 Testing the Framework To gauge the utility of the Freight Evaluation Framework, it Elevator Project) to several billion dollars (New York Cross was important to apply it to actual freight improvement proj- Harbor Freight Rail Tunnel) and funding sources, including ects to evaluate the interrelationships among freight benefit strictly public (Rochelle Intermodal Center), strictly private types, determine whether there are significant differences in the (Gardner Intermodal Terminal), and various types of public- Framework's application across different types and scales of private partnership arrangements (Denver International freight investments, and assess its overall strengths and weak- Airport). nesses. The study team tested the Freight Evaluation Frame- · Geography, including urban (Port of Seattle SR 519 Inter- work in two different ways. First, the team applied the Frame- modal Access) and rural (Strauss Intermodal Yard) and work to six case studies of actual freight improvement projects. projects that are local in nature versus those that impact Second, the team conducted a hands-on workshop to provide multiple states or MPOs. · Data availability, including transportation demand, ben- feedback on the Framework; identify how it can and should be used to support investment decisions, financing, or public- efit, cost, and other appropriate information. It was criti- cal that sufficient data exist (or be obtained) so that a rig- private partnership structuring; and describe how it could be orous, realistic test could be conducted. useful in supporting partnerships for funding freight infra- structure investments. The following sections describe the case Following discussions with the NCFRP-05 Panel, the research study testing process and results in detail, and provide a sum- team identified six case studies on which to focus. These six case mary of the workshop. studies, as follow, provided a cross section of project types, scales, locations, and modes that proved useful in evaluating the key 5.1 Case Study Testing components of the Freight Evaluation Framework. Selection of Potential Case Studies 1. Reno Transportation Rail Access Corridor, a 2.3-mile- long, below-ground Class I rail mainline through down- Figure 5.1 shows the locations of the potential case studies town Reno, Nevada; originally identified through the study team's discussions 2. Denver International Airport WorldPort, which with freight investment stakeholders and the team's review of included one-half million square feet of building and current practices. warehouse space, a new taxiway, and an aircraft ramp; As well as geographic diversity, several other criteria were 3. Tchoupitoulas Corridor Improvements, a series of high- used to ensure that the final set of case studies represented a way capacity improvements and rail rehabilitations to broad array of freight project types, including the following: improve access to the Port of New Orleans, Louisiana; 4. Heartland Corridor Clearance Initiative, a multistate rail · Project scale, such as local-scale freight projects that may capacity improvement project to develop a direct route for have national or regional impacts, improvements that impact double-stacked Norfolk Southern container trains mov- multiple states, and international port or gateway projects. ing from the Port of Virginia to Columbus, Ohio; · Project type and mode, including highway or rail capac- 5. Port of Huntsville (Alabama) Inland Port, which includes ity chokepoints, at-grade crossings, intermodal connector the Huntsville International Airport, the International Inter- improvements, and warehouse/distribution center facilities. modal Center, and the Jetplex Industrial Park; and · Project value and funding arrangement, with values rang- 6. Bayport Container Terminal, a newly opened terminal ing from $1.4 million (Port of Superior/General Mills S/X within the Port of Houston, Texas.
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60 14 1 12 7 8 3 6 21 15 9 13 25 11 4 19 5 24 23 26 17 22 10 20 18 16 2 Rail Air Port/Multimodal Truck Truck/Rail 1. Port of Superior General Mills S/X Elevator Project 14. Port of Seattle SR 519 Intermodal Access Project 2. Bayport Container Terminal 15. I-55 Access to CenterPoint Intermodal Center 3. Reno Transportation Rail Access Corridor (ReTRAC) at Deer Run 4. Tehachapi Trade Corridor 16. Tchoupitoulas Corridor Improvements 5. Colton Crossing 17. Cooper River Bridge Replacement 6. IA Interstate Railroad Rehabilitation 18. Wal-Mart Baytown Distribution Complex and Locomotive Purchase 19. Norfolk Southern Crescent Corridor 7. Chicago Region Environmental and 20. Trans-Texas Corridor 35 Transportation Efficiency Program (CREATE) 21. Illiana Expressway 8. NY Cross Harbor Freight Rail Tunnel 22. Arizona Multimodal Logistics Complex 9. Heartland Corridor Clearance Project 23. Ports of LA/LB Clean Trucks Program 10. Strauss Intermodal Yard 24. Interstate 710 Truck Lanes 11. Gardner Intermodal Terminal 25. Kansas City SmartPort 12. Rochelle Intermodal Center/UP Global III 26. Port of Huntsville 13. Denver International Airport Cargo Facility Figure 5.1. Freight investments--potential case study locations. These six case studies allowed the research team to test existing tools in facilitating use of the Freight Evaluation different project types and geographic scales, modal com- Framework and supporting freight investment decisions. binations, and combinations of benefit types, as shown in · Linking project attributes, benefits, and stakeholder Table 5.1. types--Previous sections identified stakeholder types that In addition to assessing the overall performance, strengths/ are involved in the identification, planning, financing, and weaknesses, and areas of improvement of the Freight Evalu- implementation of freight improvement projects, as well as ation Framework, the team's testing process focused on a their interest points and perspectives (i.e., what "stake" number of key issues that were identified through the inter- these stakeholders have in the success of a freight improve- view process described in Chapter 3, including ment project). One focus area of the team's testing process was to ensure that the Freight Evaluation Framework ade- · Identifying limitations of existing data and tools--There quately captured the impacts and benefits to different are a number of issues that limit the effectiveness of existing stakeholders--and how these can change depending on evaluation tools in assessing benefits across all freight invest- the type of project, its attributes, and/or role the stake- ment and stakeholder types, as described in Chapter 4. As holder is playing in the project development. part of the research team's evaluation process, researchers · Ensuring usefulness across different scales--Investment paid particular attention to these and other weaknesses of evaluations (including the data and tools used, the level of
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61 Table 5.1. Modes, project types, scales, and benefits of case studies. Modes Included Project Type Air Impacting Cargo Highway Intermodal Rail Grade Port Barge Case Study Highway Rail Port Air Highway Handling Improvements Connector Improvements Crossings Expansion Services Reno Transportation Rail Access Corridor (Nevada) Denver International Airport WorldPort (Colorado) Tchoupitoulas Corridor Improvements (New Orleans, Louisiana) Heartland Corridor Clearance Initiative (Columbus, Ohio) Port of Huntsville (Alabama) Inland Port Bayport Container Terminal (Houston, Texas) Scale and Operation Project Characteristics Highway Benefits Used Broader Beginning Existing Significant Supply Change Change Supply Year of Data and Multi- Multiple Risk Chain in Delay/ in Loss/ Chain Case Study Geography Constructed Operations Tools jurisdictional Beneficiaries Factors Impacts Reliability Damage Benefits Reno Transportation Regional 2006 Rail Access Corridor (Nevada) Denver International Regional 2006 Airport WorldPort (Colorado) Tchoupitoulas Regional 2004 Corridor Improvements (New Orleans, Louisiana) Heartland Corridor Multistate Underway N/A Clearance Initiative (Columbus, Ohio) Port of Huntsville Regional 1974 (Alabama) Inland Port Bayport Container Local 2007 Terminal (Houston, Texas) (continued on next page)