North Rail Connector Project
The Jackson County Port Authority (JCPA) proposes to construct the North Rail Connector (the Project). The Project would connect existing rail owned by Mississippi Export Railroad (MSE) that crosses over the Escatawpa River in Moss Point, Mississippi, to existing JCPA-owned rail that crosses through the Moss Point Industrial and Technology Complex (MPITC) and provides access to the Port of Pascagoula, Bayou Casotte Harbor.
The purpose of the Project is to provide additional railroad capacity and connectivity to support the growing needs of the Port of Pascagoula, Bayou Casotte Harbor. Currently, freight trains that travel from the north on the MSE line must pass through downtown Moss Point and Pascagoula to the Pascagoula Interchange to join CSX rail. This operation regularly blocks road traffic and creates delays at four major roadway intersections. Also, the curve alignment from the existing MSE line entering into the MPITC is too tight for the expected length of train to travel through the area safely. The Project would remove operational conflicts between railroads, reduce congestion, and accommodate the proposed restoration of passenger rail service.
The location of the North Rail Connector would be in Section 19, Township 7 South, and Range 5 West of Jackson County, Mississippi. The approximate center point of the proposed rail is at 30.415546 degrees latitude and -88.514452 degrees longitude. The new rail would extend from mile post 2.89 (30.251207/-88.310005) at the northern project limits, to mile post 2.05 (30.413308/-88.508269) on the east, where it would join existing rail.
Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact
FRA, in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. § 4321, et seq., evaluating the potential environmental impacts of the Project to the human and natural environment.
FRA approved a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for this project on December 14, 2021.
- North Rail Connector FONSI
- North Rail Connector EA
- Appendix A - Figures
- Appendix B - MDEQ Air Quality Data Summary
- Appendix C - Escatawpa River Phase One Total Maximum Daily Load for Mercury
- Appendix D - Noise and Vibration Report
- Appendix E - Wetland Delineation Report
- Appendix F - FEMA FIRM Map
- Appendix G - IPaC Report USFWS Consultation Letters
- Appendix H - Photographs of the Proposed Project Area
- Appendix I - Census Data for Project Area
- Appendix J - 2019 Phase I Environmental Site Assessment
- Appendix K part 1 - Section 106 FRA Designation Letter / Section 106 Cultural Resources Report / SHPO and THPO Consultation Letters
- Appendix K part 2 - SHPO and THPO Correspondence
- Appendix L part 1 - Agency Consultation/Correspondence
- Appendix L part 2 - US Army Corps of Engineers Correspondence
- Appendix M - Pre-NEPA Meeting Attendees
- Appendix N - USACE List of Agencies Contacted
FRA NEPA Contact:
Amanda Murphy, Environmental Protection Specialist
Environment and Project Engineering Division
Federal Railroad Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
West Building, Mail Stop 20
Washington, DC 20590
The U.S. Permitting Dashboard is an online tool for Federal agencies, project sponsors, and interested members of the public to track the Federal government’s environmental review and authorization processes for large or complex infrastructure projects. The Dashboard is part of a government-wide effort to improve coordination, transparency, and accountability. A link to this project’s page on the Dashboard is below.