Navy Base Intermodal Container Transfer Facility at the Former Charleston Naval Complex (CNC) in North Charleston, South Carolina


Proposed Project


The project site is located near the intersection of Hobson Avenue and Viaduct Road at the former Charleston Naval Complex (CNC) in North Charleston, South Carolina. Palmetto Railways currently provides rail services to Union Pier Terminal, Columbus Street Terminal, Veterans Terminal, North Charleston Terminal, and various private industries in the region. Palmetto Railways has proposed to construct and operate an Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) on a 130-acre site at the former CNC. Completion of the Navy Base ICTF would also require additional off-site roadway and rail improvements.

Presently, there are two existing intermodal terminals in the Charleston region operated by the two Class I line-haul carriers that serve the Port of Charleston and various local businesses and industries. The existing intermodal facilities in the Charleston region include the CSX Ashley Junction intermodal terminal and the Norfolk Southern (NS) 7-Mile intermodal terminal. Both terminals operate at high volumes today and are at or very near their throughput capacity. The stated combined capacity of the two existing intermodal terminals is 498,800 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) without infrastructure improvements, which are limited by the lack of contiguous available land for future expansion. The proposed Navy Base ICTF would provide capacity to meet projected future intermodal growth within the region. In recognition of the limited capacity of Charleston’s existing intermodal facilities and the projected container volume growth of the Port of Charleston, potential sites for intermodal capacity enhancement were identified in the 2008 South Carolina State Rail Plan, which included the Navy Base ICTF project location (commonly referred to as the Clemson site). Initial planning efforts for the Proposed Project have focused on the provision of equal access for both Class I carriers (CSX and NS), and proximity to the container terminals owned and operated by the South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCPA), including the new Hugh K. Leatherman, Sr. marine container terminal presently under construction at the CNC.

The intermodal facility site features would include, but are not limited to, processing and classification railroad tracks, wide-span gantry cranes, container stacking areas, administrative buildings, and vehicle driving lanes. The off-site infrastructure improvements would include the northern and southern rail connections, an access-limited drayage road connecting to the SCPA container facility currently under construction at the CNC, an overpass connecting Cosgrove Avenue to McMillan Avenue, removal of the existing Viaduct Road overpass, and improvements to the intersection of Bainbridge Avenue and Hobson Avenue. Based on the available information, the Proposed Project will result in the placement of fill material in waters of the U.S. and/or tidal marsh on the intermodal facility site and the off-site improvements.