Gulf to Gadsden Freight Logistics Zone

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chudan
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Gulf to Gadsden Freight Logistics Zone

Unread post by chudan » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:31 am

While this is great for the region, the fact that Leon County and the City of Tallahassee were completely left out is a bit troubling.

http://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/m ... 569267001/

While TLH is listed as an Emerging SIS Airport, Apalachicola Regional Airport is incredibly well placed to become the major airport freight hub of the region by being on the main freight line from the interior and the freight port at Port St. Joe.

It also makes Greensboro ripe for becoming the major surface freight transportation hub of the region. With its proximity to I-10, all it would take is St. Joe Corporation building a new freight depot north of Greensboro on the Apalachicola Northern Railway (owned by The St. Joe Co.) and get a new exit on I-10 at either Cochran Rd or Flat Creek Rd.

Really seems like the City and/or the County missed the ball on this one by at least not being in the FLZ as a terminus.

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downtownster
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Re: Gulf to Gadsden Freight Logistics Zone

Unread post by downtownster » Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:33 pm

I think the Zone has more to do with where the exisitng ANR tracks are and those aint in Leon.

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chudan
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Re: Gulf to Gadsden Freight Logistics Zone

Unread post by chudan » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:46 am

If you look at some of the other FLZ's in Florida, they also include adjoining counties/cities with serious trucking routes, freight ports and/or freight airports, whether connected by rail or not. The whole idea behind the FLZ's is to seamlessly as possible enhance and streamline shipping container movement, by any freight transportation mode.

In regards to this, St. Joe (ANR owner) and CSX are working together. With CSX involved, Tally could have lobbied to get the Lipona Rd CSX depot included by committing to developing truck routes between the depot and the airport, I-10 and/or various warehouse/manufacturing districts in Tally. A truck route could be run from the CSX depot east to Lake Bradford to Orange to the airport to connect air freight to train freight to truck freight.

This is big picture thinking. I'm amazed at how Capital Circle has been built. It should have been designed as a limited access, high speed beltway to facilitate freight shipping as well as local transportation. It should have been designed with service roads and overpasses to cut down on traffic light controlled road crossings. Instead, we have a 4-6 lane commuter belt with traffic lights every 1/4 mile, sometimes even closer.

This is a big problem if one is trying to woo manufacturing to Tally, its a freight transportation nightmare. Our surface road system is based on the old fashion radial design with very poor through traffic flow. There is quite literally no decent connection to train freight service for manufacturing. The best place to have a freight oriented manufacturing district, right by the CSX depot, is closed out to the south by the research park and to the north by established neighborhoods of student and low income housing. And I'm willing to bet a certain south side politician would hold a manufacturing district by the CSX tracks hostage just like he did the plasma gasification trash to power facility.

I know this stuff is not as sexy as having an Amtrak passenger service, but from a jobs creation standpoint its a must, IMHO, to attract large scale manufacturing.

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Re: Gulf to Gadsden Freight Logistics Zone

Unread post by florida » Thu Aug 17, 2017 2:05 pm

chudan wrote: I'm amazed at how Capital Circle has been built. It should have been designed as a limited access, high speed beltway to facilitate freight shipping as well as local transportation. It should have been designed with service roads and overpasses to cut down on traffic light controlled road crossings. Instead, we have a 4-6 lane commuter belt with traffic lights every 1/4 mile, sometimes even closer.

This is a big problem if one is trying to woo manufacturing to Tally, its a freight transportation nightmare.


I could not agree more with anything!!! 100% agree!!

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Re: Gulf to Gadsden Freight Logistics Zone

Unread post by mep » Fri Aug 18, 2017 6:54 am

My guess is Genesee and Wyoming (gwrr.com) who purchased the railroad in 2005 would like to see something happen on this line as well. Last I knew they leased the track from St. Joe, who kept ownership of the tracks and real estate. One customer on 96 miles of track is not much assuming the entire stretch of the line is leased. GWRR owns and operates many shortline railroads in the area including the Bay Line RR at Panama City.

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Re: Gulf to Gadsden Freight Logistics Zone

Unread post by jmgnole » Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:02 pm

florida wrote:
chudan wrote: I'm amazed at how Capital Circle has been built. It should have been designed as a limited access, high speed beltway to facilitate freight shipping as well as local transportation. It should have been designed with service roads and overpasses to cut down on traffic light controlled road crossings. Instead, we have a 4-6 lane commuter belt with traffic lights every 1/4 mile, sometimes even closer.

This is a big problem if one is trying to woo manufacturing to Tally, its a freight transportation nightmare.
I could not agree more with anything!!! 100% agree!!
When it was built, Tallahassee was nothing like it is today. We used to call it Capital Speedway, because there was nothing on it. I don't think that anyone expected Tallahassee to engulf CC so quickly.

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Re: Gulf to Gadsden Freight Logistics Zone

Unread post by thedoorlatch » Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:55 pm

chudan wrote:If you look at some of the other FLZ's in Florida, they also include adjoining counties/cities with serious trucking routes, freight ports and/or freight airports, whether connected by rail or not. The whole idea behind the FLZ's is to seamlessly as possible enhance and streamline shipping container movement, by any freight transportation mode.

In regards to this, St. Joe (ANR owner) and CSX are working together. With CSX involved, Tally could have lobbied to get the Lipona Rd CSX depot included by committing to developing truck routes between the depot and the airport, I-10 and/or various warehouse/manufacturing districts in Tally. A truck route could be run from the CSX depot east to Lake Bradford to Orange to the airport to connect air freight to train freight to truck freight.

This is big picture thinking. I'm amazed at how Capital Circle has been built. It should have been designed as a limited access, high speed beltway to facilitate freight shipping as well as local transportation. It should have been designed with service roads and overpasses to cut down on traffic light controlled road crossings. Instead, we have a 4-6 lane commuter belt with traffic lights every 1/4 mile, sometimes even closer.

This is a big problem if one is trying to woo manufacturing to Tally, its a freight transportation nightmare. Our surface road system is based on the old fashion radial design with very poor through traffic flow. There is quite literally no decent connection to train freight service for manufacturing. The best place to have a freight oriented manufacturing district, right by the CSX depot, is closed out to the south by the research park and to the north by established neighborhoods of student and low income housing. And I'm willing to bet a certain south side politician would hold a manufacturing district by the CSX tracks hostage just like he did the plasma gasification trash to power facility.

I know this stuff is not as sexy as having an Amtrak passenger service, but from a jobs creation standpoint its a must, IMHO, to attract large scale manufacturing.
I am so happy that you have started this conversation, and I agree with everything you've said 100%. I coincidentally have been doing research on the CSX switchyard on Lipona within the last week. All of my rental properties are pretty much next door to the site. I was curious as to why the switchyard was smack dab in the urban core of the city rather than outside of the city limits and closer to the airport. After reading a bunch of old newspaper articles, I found out that it was put there because at the time, it was outside of the city limits and adjacent to the airport (Dale Mabry Airfield). It is neither of those things anymore.

I sent my findings to the Office of Economic Vitality because they are analyzing major infrastructure needs to make innovation park more marketable, and this could potentially be one of those needs. We have plenty of room for manufacturing, the CSX site just isn't in the right place to make that feasible. If CSX moved their switchyard to somewhere like the site of the abandoned cement factory off of Capital Circle, it'd be a straight shot to either the airport or I-10, with plenty of vacant surrounding land for complementing manufacturing/shipping companies.

I'm gonna keep trying to spur this dialogue, and I appreciate all of the things you pointed out.

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Re: Gulf to Gadsden Freight Logistics Zone

Unread post by SPC II » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:21 pm

The problem with wooing manufacturing to Tallahassee is that it isn't near anything. In any kind of business that involves transporting stuff, the raw and unchangeable reality of distance to markets absolutely dominates everything else. You can build all the infrastructure you want, but nothing will change the fact that Jax is closer to the rest of the peninsula of FL, and Pensacola is at the eastern edge of a large area encompassing a lot of decent-sized Gulf Coast metros. Going north, you really only have Albany and Macon between Tallahassee and Atlanta, and those areas ship goods eastward to Brunswick and Savannah ports, which are titans compared to anything on the FL Gulf Coast.

Again, the geographic isolation is just an immutable fact for the city. If I-75 had at least been routed through the Big Bend, maybe we'd have a more substantial industrial/warehousing presence, but then Gainesville sits right on it and has a university that arguably does a better job turning public research into private investment, and yet it's still just...Gainesville.

I'm not saying we can't dream, but if this city ever has a reasonable manufacturing presence, it's going to be making high tech stuff, lightweight, time-sensitive stuff that takes a very short truck ride to the airport from Innovation Park and then gets flown to somewhere far away. There's simply no advantage to be had in moving heavy bulk goods like timber or rock aggregate from Tallahassee. Nor is there an advantage in siting regional distribution centers for consumer goods in the area. This Gulf Coast FLZ will hopefully be a boon for Gadsden County, and in theory, the rising tide will lift our ship too by way of greater population and income there, but I wouldn't sweat the fact that this zone doesn't include Leon County.

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Re: Gulf to Gadsden Freight Logistics Zone

Unread post by florida » Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:18 am

jmgnole wrote:
florida wrote:
chudan wrote: I'm amazed at how Capital Circle has been built. It should have been designed as a limited access, high speed beltway to facilitate freight shipping as well as local transportation. It should have been designed with service roads and overpasses to cut down on traffic light controlled road crossings. Instead, we have a 4-6 lane commuter belt with traffic lights every 1/4 mile, sometimes even closer.

This is a big problem if one is trying to woo manufacturing to Tally, its a freight transportation nightmare.
I could not agree more with anything!!! 100% agree!!
When it was built, Tallahassee was nothing like it is today. We used to call it Capital Speedway, because there was nothing on it. I don't think that anyone expected Tallahassee to engulf CC so quickly.

So, was this local leadership thinking small? Or not planning far enough ahead?

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chudan
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Re: Gulf to Gadsden Freight Logistics Zone

Unread post by chudan » Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:01 am

Thing is, Cap Circ has been a work in progress since my wife and I moved here back in '98. It has been expanded and widened almost non-stop the whole time we have lived here. At some point, someone in Tally/Leon big picture planning should have started pushing to make Cap Circ more freight friendly. Its crazy to see tractor trailers taking US 27 down App Pkwy to Monroe and then north vs Cap Circ NE to I-10 (or vice versa), but that's the reality of how badly functional Cap Circ is for trucking.

In regards to container shipping for hi-tech industry, yes they might not need it for product out flow, but I can guarantee you they need it for raw material/component inflow. And I have seen enough varieties of manufacturing along I-75 and other interstates in the most out of the way places to know it does happen. As example, with Tally Utility and surrounding local governments pushing solar farms, it would make sense to look at trying to attract panel manufacturing into the area. Or push for an importer distribution center of such.

Instead, almost all of Tally's private sector business development seems to be in office complexes. Which for the life of me I can't understand. The lobbying, law firm, contractors, vendors and what not that support state government and universities have already built out everything they need, so what else is going to go into all this office space being envisioned? Tally needs a diversified approach to business attraction.

I hate to harp on the plasma gasification plant that got chased out of town, but right now that would have been a great asset to have. Duke Energy is contracted to to provide a huge amount of power plant slag tonnage to a wall board manufacturer and they are in a lawsuit because they can't keep up. That was one of the areas that the plas-gas plant slag was going to target. It would have massively cut solid waste utility costs, added an additional renewable power source (at low cost) to Tally's power portfolio AND have had a shippable raw material for a different industry from a big chunk of its by-product. If it was here, it would have needed a better in-town shipping network to supply the solid waste and ship the by-product.

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Re: Gulf to Gadsden Freight Logistics Zone

Unread post by SPC II » Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:45 am

Chudan I totally agree with you about the gasification facility. I think that's a crying shame that didn't happen, and I completely blame local leadership for being *at best* passive about the whole thing, and not doing a whole lot more to swat down all of the pseudo-science and claims of insider advantages that were floating around the situation.

That said, even though we missed that boat, I think you're onto something in saying that we may be able to foster solar technology production here. The inputs for that still wouldn't require huge trainloads of anything, but your point about truck access is well taken, and fortunately, I do think the airport area is pretty well set up for trucks coming around the west side of CC.

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