Swift Growth – A Very Busy Season for Logistics

Swift Growth – A Very Busy Season for Logistics

If you blinked at any point while following Indiana’s logistics news over the last few months, it’s quite likely that you missed some of the big news about our state’s growth in connectivity. Things have been happening seriously fast and all kinds of new projects have been revealed as our logistics network has heated up this year.

We’ve gathered a look at several of the recent highlights that you might not have seen. Check out these awesome logistics developments.

 

Bridge “Mega Project” Advances, $1.27B

ORX progress pic.

A new bi-state agreement between Indiana and Kentucky means the I-69 Ohio River Crossing (ORX) that will connect Evansville, IN to Henderson, KY is a step closer to reality. The states have signed an initial Memorandum of Agreement to allow preliminary development and financial planning to move forward for the new “mega-project” river crossing.

Initial phases of the project will focus on preliminary engineering services, cost estimates, right-of-way plans, traffic and revenue forecasting, and other services. The preliminary engineering services include pursuing grant opportunities and other financial planning to identify opportunities to accelerate the project timeline. Both KYTC and INDOT will have representatives on the bi-state management team. KYTC will administer the contract and the states will evenly divide costs for the project.

Following those steps, I-69 ORX has been divided into three sections for project delivery:

  • Construction on ORX Section 1, the Kentucky approach, started in summer 2022 and is expected to be complete by the end of 2025. It’s being led by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC).
  • ORX Section 2 is a bi-state project that includes the new river crossing. Construction is currently scheduled to begin in 2027 and be complete in 2031.
  • ORX Section 3, the Indiana approach, is expected to begin in early 2024. Work is expected to be complete in 2026. It’s being led by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT).
  • The total estimated construction costs are $257.3 million for Section 1 and $1.015 billion for Section 2 and Section 3. That’s about $1.272 billion in total.

 

Abandoned Rail Spur Gets New Life, $9.5M

What was once abandoned is now getting new life and a massive investment from an out-of-state firm. Tennessee-based SRM Concrete announced plans to build a new $9.5 million facility and lease a previously unused rail spur in the Park One/332 industrial park in Delaware County. The spur was built several years ago but has never seen much use. It was originally built for a wind turbine manufacturer that closed down in 2016.

Now, SRM Concrete plans to lease the spur for a seven-year term. County officials say this will generate $3.5 million over that period, and the company will have the option to purchase the spur once its lease is up. SRM’s new facility will employ up to 15 people and will be used for distributing concrete mix throughout the Midwest.

 

FedEx Relocating Maintenance to Indiana 

FedEx announced plans to move its California-based maintenance operations from LAX to Indianapolis in what is evidently a move to lower costs. The company’s lease at LAX will expire in June 2024, which will afford FedEx the opportunity to consolidate resources at the Indianapolis hub where already more than 5,800 employees are based.

Currently, the Los Angles maintenance center conducts major aircraft repairs, upgrades, equipment servicing, dismantling, and many additional functions like inspections. FedEx said up to 400 jobs from its LAX maintenance center will be eliminated but other roles within the company will be offered to those workers, most of whom are technicians. Specific numbers for new employees expected to be added in Indianapolis were not yet announced.

 

New Corporate Hangar Opens

Jet Access new hangar in Greenfield.

Jet Access has completed construction on a new corporate aviation hangar at Indianapolis Regional Airport (MQJ) in Greenfield. The company is a fixed base operator (FBO) at MQJ that employs about 400 aviation professionals throughout the U.S.

The 22,500 square foot hangar is sufficient for the largest private aircraft, up to the Gulfstream G650. The hangar features infrared tube heating, ground power plug ins, and modern LED lighting. With the addition of the new hangar, Jet Access has more than 84,000 square feet of corporate hangar space.

Company officials noted there is a significant shortage of hangar space in central Indiana. Their decision to invest in a new hanger was made in part due to MOJ’s proximity to Fishers, which is one of the state’s fastest growing business hubs for corporate headquarters.

 

Getting Hooked Up

It’s definitely been a busy few months across Indiana’s logistics network. Each one of these new projects is going to bring distinct advantages to Hoosier companies, especially the new interstate bridge across the Ohio River. The more Indiana gets hooked up like it’s been doing throughout the last few months, the better it will be for business well into the future.

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Category Features, Logistics