The Center at Horseheads Access Project provides a unique opportunity to create and sustain economic development in a strategic location that has already benefited from the recent designation of nearby Interstate 86. The project will significantly enhance opportunities for economic development, preserve the quality of life in surrounding neighborhoods, provide a more sustainable transportation network, and limit the impact of flooding on residences and businesses.
Chemung County proposes to construct a new 0.75-mile, two-lane urban collector roadway and bridge to improve truck access to the 500-acre Center at Horseheads industrial park in the Village of Horseheads, NY. The proposed project will also require the construction of a signalized intersection at NY Route 13, a 238-foot bridge spanning Newtown Creek, and structural improvements to the Newtown Creek flood control levee in the Town of Horseheads. The overall project is designed to accommodate current and projected truck traffic serving businesses within the industrial park more efficiently. It should also relieve congestion and the impact of associated truck traffic in residential neighborhoods in the village and town. In addition, Chemung County has recently programmed a separate capital project to reconstruct and assume ownership and maintenance responsibility for a portion of an internal roadway within the center that will improve truck access to businesses in the park.
The privately owned Center at Horseheads was originally constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during the 1940s to serve as a military trans-shipment depot. The center is zoned for industrial uses and is fully served by industrial-scale public sewer and water supply infrastructure in addition to natural gas, electricity, and telecommunications services. Rail freight service is provided by Norfolk Southern Railway’s Horseheads Industrial Track from the Southern Tier main line, which offers connections between Buffalo and New York City, as well as the national rail network. Road access to the center from state and interstate highways is currently limited to local roadways that pass through residential neighborhoods and the village’s historic Hanover Square retail district.
Many businesses now operate within the center. In July 2010, the Schlumberger Technology Corporation broke ground on a 400,000-square-foot gas field servicing facility and campus occupying 85 acres at the center to serve the Marcellus Shale and other natural gas drilling operations in Pennsylvania and New York. Since January 2010, 300,000 square feet of vacant building space within the center has been leased by other companies engaged in the sale of supplies to gas drilling companies in the region. Companies within the center receive sand, fluids, pipe, chemicals, and similar products by rail and truck and then redistribute their products by truck to drilling sites in Pennsylvania. Norfolk Southern estimates that rail traffic will double or triple upon the completion of Schlumberger’s service center in 2012, with corresponding increases in truck traffic to and from the center from state and interstate highways. It is estimated that every rail car entering the Center will generate from three to four truckloads of freight exiting the center. Norfolk Southern and businesses within the center are investigating the feasibility of various track upgrades to accommodate these businesses’ future operations.