On Wednesday, March 27, 2019, the Port of Beaumont opened its Orange County Terminal Overpass, which will provide improved access into the Orange County Terminal, a liquid bulk trans-load facility operated by Jefferson Energy Companies. The overpass is located on the south side of Interstate 10, east of the Neches River, in Orange County, Texas. For the Port of Beaumont’s private partner and terminal operator, Jefferson Energy Companies, the new overpass will promote the smooth and efficient flow of passenger vehicles and freight trucks into the facility without impeding safe movement of railroad traffic.
“This overpass is a significant transportation safety project that allows passenger cars to easily enter and exit the Orange County Terminal, bypassing two main line, Class I rail tracks and numerous industry tracks,” says Port Director Chris Fisher. “The overpass also addresses environmental issues associated with idling vehicles, effectively reducing carbon emissions.”
The Orange County Terminal, built in 2001, has been transformed into a state-of-the-art liquid bulk trans-load facility. It is a public-private partnership between the Port of Beaumont and Jefferson Energy Companies. As the facility rapidly expanded from 2012 on, so too did the need for an overpass to circumvent the main line rail tracks as well as several other Jefferson Energy Co. operational lines. The main lines, which are served by the BNSF, UP and KCS railroads, average forty trains per day, creating delays and decreasing the ease of entry and exit for people working at the facility. The $12.5 million overpass, partially funded by a $6.4 million Federal Highway Administration Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Grant, which was administered by the Texas Department of Transportation, connects Old U.S. 90 and the Port of Beaumont’s Orange County property, and will facilitate future growth of the terminal.