PORTLAND (AP) — State officials have announced plans to double the size of Portland’s shipping container terminal and link it directly with a rail line to help it compete with other major East Coast ports.

Officials say the expanded International Marine Terminal would significantly lower costs for commercial customers, make shipping faster and more efficient, and attract new cargo business to Maine.

The cost of the expansion has not been disclosed but the state plans to put the project out for bids in June.

The expansion involves taking several acres of privately-owned land by eminent domain because of a dispute over its value.

John Henshaw, executive director of the Maine Port Authority, told the Portland Press Herald (http://bit.ly/1bO9wPL ) the project represents the first time in 50 years the port can fully realize its potential.

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