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Charleston Army Transportation Depot

The Army Transportation Depot is located about two miles north of the Charleston Naval Shipyard on the west bank of the Cooper River. The Army Transportation Depot pier is 1500 ft long. North Charleston Terminal is located about 1.3 miles north of Charleston Naval Shipyard on the west bank of the Cooper River. The North Charleston Terminal is about 2460 ft long with a 12-ft deck height. The Army's transportation depot employs fewer than 30 people and isn't being used to its full potential.

An alliance of 16 conservation and citizens' groups supports the concept of expanding the State Ports Authority [SPA] North Charleston Terminal instead of building a new container terminal on Daniel Island. Expanding the North Charleston Terminal onto the Army's depot would be less expensive and destructive to the environment. Moreover, the North Charleston Terminal already is tied into an extensive railroad network, which could help alleviate truck traffic.

The More Than a Port coalition was born in late 1999 when the SPA released detailed plans for Daniel Island in a draft of a federal environmental impact statement. The draft showed that the SPA's project would cover 1,300 acres on Daniel Island and cost at least $1.2 billion. The plans triggered an outpouring of criticism from conservationists and local elected officials who successfully pushed the SPA to withdraw its federal and state permit applications.

The SPA is seeking proposals from private companies to fund and operate a smaller container terminal on the Cooper River side of Daniel Island. Members of the More Than a Port coalition have been studying the North Charleston expansion idea for several weeks.

The 221-acre North Charleston Terminal has 2,500 feet of berth space, enough to handle three ships at a time. Extending the SPA's terminal's berth 2,000 feet onto the military's property would create a terminal with more berth space than the SPA's massive Wando Welch Terminal, Heindel said. The 461-acre Wando terminal, which helped make Charleston one of the busiest container ports in the nation, has 3,800 feet of berth space. The North Charleston Terminal's rail access is one of its biggest drawing cards, Heindel added. Two major companies, CSX and Norfolk Southern, have railroads to the terminal.

If the SPA built on Daniel Island, however, the state would have to build a 13-mile spur through the Cainhoy community and Francis Marion National Forest. That spur would hook up with only one railroad, CSX.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:45:28 ZULU