What officially began in 2011 is being called the “Crown Jewel” of recent highway construction projects by officials at the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT). Officials at Consolidated Grain and Barge (CGB) understand the potential impact the completed section of I-269 will have on their business and other ag-based businesses.
“By referencing geo-maps, we have estimated there are several million bushels of grain that could possibly be added to our operation annually.”
That estimate is not concrete and could fluctuate based on each year’s yields and cotton acres. The average ticket time at the Tunica facility is roughly 6 minutes. “The farmers we have spoken to say they’ll be able to make the trip down here, turn around after unloading and get back to their operations in less time than it normally takes them to negotiate the often-bottlenecked I-240 loop in Memphis on their way to the grain facilities located on President’s Island,” says Masters.
The I-269 corridor will also benefit the largest freight railroad in North America, BNSF Railway Company. “With the volume of freight shipped via trucks and rail each year, BNSF and those they serve will most assuredly benefit from the opening of the final phase of I-269, says Mike Tagert,northern district transportation commissioner, Mississippi Department of Transportation. “It’s a huge opportunity for many industries, but for this region, few, if any, more important than agriculture.”