Changes on Way to Port of Caruthersville

CARUTHERSVILLE, MO -  You might call it a track to nowhere. Even though these tracks end in a field near Hayti, Missouri, their completion holds much promise for the Pemiscot County Port Authority. Executive Director of the Port Authority, David Madison, says the purpose of the rail "is to provide true intermodal transport capabilities to existing shippers and future shippers and to attract other shippers to our port facilities."

This has been an ongoing project for more than twenty years. Over the last decade, not much progress had been made. The Port Authority accquired an abbandoned rail line in the 1980s which contained a swither to the main railway in Hayti.  In 1997  at that point rehabilitated all of the line and built some new line for the two and a quarter miles. With some funding received in 2007 construction was able to resume. Keith Simpson, head of AE Simpson Construction says, "We got started about the first part of may and we've been working pretty steady the last two and a half months.

From just outside of hayti to just west of caruthersville on highway 84, the roadbed has been completed. All that is needed now is additional funding to purchase and lay the ballast, ties and rails in order to complete the railway. Once the 5 miles of rail is connected and completed, port officials believe this could greatly increase business.

The Pemiscot County Port Authority needs another 1.5 million dollars to complete the planned rail. When additional funds become available the project could be completed quickly. It is anticipated to take about three months to get the ballast brought in and the rail down, before rail traffic is ready to come to the Pemiscot County Port. Not only will the spur line be a tool for the port, it will also aid the surrounding communities. The purpose of building a railroad is to further the goals of the Port Authority which are to develop local economic activity, to promote the general welfare, and to create opportunities for businesses to expand and hire more people.