Auburn Intermodal Facility is a truck-rail intermodal yard which includes parking, container storage, and a weighing and freight-control operations center.
Project Type:Freight Terminal Project Mode:Highway Average Annual Daily Traffic:0 Length (mi):0.00
Project Flags:Intermodal Economic Distress:1.02 Population Density (ppl/sq mi):228 Population Growth Rate (%):0.55
Employment Growth Rate (%):1.10 Market Size:68,114 Airport Travel Distance:38 Topography:10
Region:New England/Mid-Atlantic State:ME County:County
City:Auburn Urban/Class Level:Metro Local Area:N/A
Impact Area:County Transportation System:N/A GIS Lat/Long:44.097903 / -70.231186
Initial Study Date:1992 Post Constr. Study Date:2003
Constr. Start Date:1993 Constr. End Date:2001
Project Year of Expenditure (YOE): 1969 Planned Cost (YOE $):N/A
Actual Cost (YOE $):5,300,000 Actual Cost (curr $):6,443,286
Intermodal Actual Cost (YOE $): 5,300,000Intermodal Actual Cost (curr $): 6,443,286
Highway Road Access Improvement Cost (YOE $): N/AHighway Road Access Improvement Cost (curr $): N/A
All Cargo Volume (Metric Tons): N/AContainer Volume (Metric Tons): N/AContainer Volume (TEU's): 30,000
NOTE: All pre/post dollar values are in 2013$
Select a region to display the conditions for that region:
NOTE: All impact dollar values are in 2013$
|Income (in $M's)||5.11||2.96||8.07|
|Output (in $M's)||16.54||9.58||26.12|
The Auburn Intermodal Facility is a truck-rail intermodal yard in Auburn, Maine. The terminal, which opened in 1994, consisted of a 35-acre terminal with a double-track and a gravel-yard facility for transfer of containers between truck and rail. Phase II of the project was constructed in 2001 added 19-acres to the facility, expanding the project to 54 acres. Phase II improved the rail track and added a mechanized packer that lifts cargo containers between flatbed rail cars and truck frames. In addition, the expansion included parking and container storage, and a weighing and freight-control operations center. Phase I cost $3.7 million ($2001), and Phase 2 cost $1.6 million ($2001) for a total project cost of $5.3 million ($2001.) This analysis includes the impacts associated with both phases of the project.
The facility has helped foster growth in the local economy, particularly for regional distribution companies, warehousing, and related companies. The intermodal facility has supported the construction of new industrial parks in the Auburn area, particularly the Auburn Industrial Park. Between 1990 ( prior to the construction of the intermodal facility) and 2008, the number of transportation and warehousing establishments in the Lewiston-Auburn MSA has grown by 60% and employment in those industries have grown by 211%. The intermodal facility and businesses that have located in Auburn because of the facility supported roughly 2,200 employees in the transportation / warehousing industry in 2008. Future growth in warehousing and distribution and a growing focus on low-emission transportation likely will increase demand for the Auburn Intermodal Facility in the coming years.
2.1 Location & Transportation Connections
The Auburn Intermodal facility is located in Auburn, Maine, which is approximately 40 miles north of and inland from Portland. Auburn is well-situated as an intermodal hub because of its proximity to rail lines, the Lewiston-Auburn International Airport, the Maine Turnpike (I-95.I-495), and the State highway network. The Auburn intermodal facility is less than 3 miles from the Maine Turnpike and 140 miles from Boston.
Auburn is bisected by the St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad, a 260 mile rail line that connects Portland, ME and St. Rosalie, Qu?bec. The St. Lawrence & Atlantic connects with Canadian National Railway at Richmond, Qu?bec, which provides access to deep-water ports in Halifax to the east and Vancouver to the west.
2.2 Community Character & Project Context
Auburn is the county seat of Androscoggin County, Maine and is part of the Lewiston-Auburn metropolitan area, which had an estimated population of 90,830 people in 2000. As of the 2000 census Auburn itself had a population of 23,203. Population in Auburn has remained relatively stable since 1950, falling 3.5% between 1990 and 2000. Between 2000 and 2006, the estimated population dropped slightly to 22,791. Auburn is the 5th largest city in Maine. In 2008, the per capita income was $23,597 with an estimated 18% of individuals living below the poverty line. In comparison, population in the Lewiston-Auburn MSA grew slightly (3%) between 1990 and 2000. The per capital income in the Lewiston-Auburn MSA is markedly higher, at $34,808 in 2008.
Historically, Auburn developed as a mill town because of its location on the Androscoggin River. However, mills began to close around the middle of the 20th century, forcing the city's economy to diversify into industries such as health care, precision manufacturing, transportation and logistics, and financial services. Today, Auburn benefits from its proximity to sister city Lewiston (home of Bates College), which provides access to museums, theaters and other amenities. Auburn is a large city in terms of land area, covering nearly 67 square miles and giving the City an average population density of only 388 people per square mile.
The Auburn Intermodal Facility is a truck and rail intermodal yard, built in two phases between 1994 and 2001. The facility was a joint project between the state, city, and local rail line. This case study evaluates the combined impacts of these two phases of development. The 35-acre terminal opened in 1994. It consisted of a double-track and a gravel-yard facility for transfer of containers between truck and rail, as well as parking, container storage, and a weighing and freight-control operations center. Phase II of the project was completed in 2001 and included a 19-acre expansion to the facility. Phase II further improved the rail track and added a mechanized packer that lifts cargo containers between flatbed rail cars and truck frames. In addition, the expansion included parking and container storage, and a weighing and freight-control operations center. Phase I of the facility cost $3.7 million ($2001), of which $2.75 million were federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program funds and the remaining $950,000 were supplied by the St Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad Company and the City of Auburn. Phase 2 of the project cost $1.6 million ($2001), half of which was paid by the St Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad company and the other half split between CMAQ funds and the City of Auburn. The facility was eligible to receive CMAQ funding because it was projected to decrease demand for long haul trucking and therefore reduce overall vehicle emissions.
The City hoped the intermodal facility would lead to business attraction and expansion, and to job creation in the region by strengthening the shipping and distribution industry in the area. The facility is connected to the St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad, a major partner during construction. The St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad runs from Portland to Quebec and also connects with the Canadian National Railway. This allows the facility to connect to ports on both coasts, avoiding much of the Midwest rail freight congestion.
The goods traveling through the Auburn Intermodal Facility include items such as clothes from abroad (primarily China) and Napa Valley Wine coming in for retail distribution throughout New England. In addition, paper, wood and Poland Springs water are common cargo shipped from the facility and headed for distribution across the US.
4.1 Transportation Impacts
The Auburn Intermodal facility has significantly increased Auburn's position as a transportation and distribution center for New England. In its first year of operation, the facility handled approximately six thousand containers. Traffic at the facility has increased since its opening in 1994. Fifteen thousand containers were moved through in 2001, and it celebrated its 75,000th container in 2002. At that time, approximately 85% of traffic was local and roughly 15% international, with the paper industry being the primary customer. The success of the facility prompted the $1.7 million expansion in 2001, increasing the facility's storage by roughly 15% and allowing for an increased volume of cargo coming through the facility. (Because the facility is privately owned and operated, current volume and traffic estimates were not available.)
4.2 Demographic, Economic & Land Use Impacts
The facility has helped foster growth in the local economy, particularly for regional distribution companies, warehousing space, and related companies. In 2004, the facility and surrounding area was designated as a Foreign Trade Zone, simplifying customs procedures for certain internationally-shipped goods and raw materials. This also helped bolster local industry, in large part due to the facility's connection to the Canadian Rail System.
Since 1995, the St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad added about 17 new customers, which is largely due to the increase in distribution and warehousing businesses in the Lewiston-Auburn area. The intermodal facility has encouraged the construction of new wholesale/distribution industrial parks in the region. There are currently seven industrial parks in the Lewiston-Auburn area, three of which were built since the intermodal facility opened. The Auburn Industrial Park, which is located closest to the facility, is within the designated foreign trade zone. Construction on the Auburn Industrial Park began in 2006. The Park has 78 developable acres and in 2008 was home to the 60,000 square foot Kellog's snacks warehouse facility. At that time, the facility was planning a 50,000 square foot addition; however this expansion was suspended when the economy began to decline in late 2008. Bisson/Lynxus Transportation, recently bought by New England Public Warehousing, built and currently operates a 103,000 square foot warehouse in the park. In addition, 200,000 feet of new warehousing space have been planned and could be under construction in 2010. An additional 32-acre expansion of the park is currently going through city approval. While neither of the two firms located in the park currently make significant use of the intermodal facility, they were both drawn to the area because of its image as a distribution center, an image that has resulted from the opening of the Auburn Intermodal Facility. The facility has also allowed for cheaper import of bulk good and raw materials to the region, which has helped to bolster local industry and business.
In 1990, before the Intermodal facility was constructed, there were 63 warehousing and transportation establishments in Lewiston-Auburn, employing roughly 722 people. By 2000, the number of firms had grown to 102, with approximately 1,300 employees. While the number of firms remained relatively static between 2000 and 2008, employment in the warehousing and transportation sector grew significantly to 2,243 employees. A large part of this increase was the construction of a large Wal-mart Distribution Center in 2006, a nearly 900,000 square foot facility, employing roughly 500 people. Wal-mart does not use the intermodal facility; however, the company was attracted to the site because of the concentration of warehousing and distribution businesses in the area supported by the intermodal facility. Interviews confirmed that the region-wide (MSA) growth in this industry is in large part due to the intermodal facility. It should be noted that there was already a node of warehousing and distribution businesses in the area prior to the opening of the Auburn Intermodal facility, and there was a hazardous materials-focused intermodal facility operated by Safe Handling, Inc.
The Auburn Intermodal facility and businesses drawn to the region because of the concentration of warehousing and distribution firms around the facility supported roughly 2,200 employees in 2008. As the economy recovers from the recession of 2008-2010, and a focus on low-emission transportation options continues, demand for the Auburn Intermodal Facility likely will increase.
Freight traffic throughout the country has been negatively affected by the 2008-2010 recession. This has also affected growth at the Auburn facility.
The increased rail use and reduction in long haul trucking facilitated by the Auburn Intermodal Facility has resulted in emissions reductions. Estimates for the first phase of the project show a reduction of 7 kg/day of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and 77kg.day of nitrogen oxide (NO x). In the coming years there will be increased attention on emissions reductions and low-impact transportation options. This should result in increased demand at the Auburn Intermodal Facility.
American Fact Finder, 2000 and 1990 US Census http://factfinder.census.gov
Auburn Industrial Park,http://www.auburnme.govoffice2.com/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, QCEW, http://www.bls.gov/cew/
Federal Highway Administration, Intermodal Freight Transfer Facility-Auburn, Maine,http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/cmaqpgs/amaq/03cmaq4.htm
Lewiston Auburn Economic Growth Council, Auburn Industrial Park http://economicgrowth.org/our-work/featured-project/auburn-industrial-park/
Midwest Regional University Transportation Center, Twin Ports Intermodal Freight Terminal Study, July 2003http://www.dot.state.mn.us/ofrw/PDF/Twin%20Ports%20Intmdl%20Terminal%20Study%20-%20FINAL.pdf
Paulson, S. Lawrence, ?Giving Freight a Voice? in Public Roads Magazinehttp://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/publicroads/01marapr/freight.cfm
Seth Harkness, Lewiston-Auburn Grows as a Logistics Hub, November 2008 http://www.mainebiz.biz/article.php?RF_ITEM%5B%5D=Article$0@43727;Article&css_display=print
US DOT Federal Highway Administration, Financing Freight Improvements, January 2007, http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/publications/freightfinancing/sect3.htm#sec_3mehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auburn,_Maine http://www.nepw.com/warehouses/lewiston.html http://laitshappeninghere.com/?p=443
OrganizationOffice of Freight, Maine Department of Transportation Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council