Monday, March 12, 2018

Rail to benefit from $96M in TIGER grants

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The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) released a list of recipients of the nearly $500 million in available Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants.


Rail will benefit from nine projects that were awarded $96.54 million in grant funding.

USDOT says the primary selection criteria for TIGER awards include considerations for safety, state of good repair, economic competitiveness, quality of life and environmental sustainability for each project. Secondary criteria include innovation and partnerships.

"TIGER grants are targeted investments for our local communities that will increase safety, create jobs and modernize our country's infrastructure," said Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

A run down of the rail and rail related projects include:

Baltimore County, Md., will receive $20 million to Baltimore County in Maryland to help TradePoint Atlantic redevelop the former Sparrows Point steel mill site.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation will receive a $19.9 million grant to grade separate Blue Ridge Road from the North Carolina Railroad.

New Mexico's Colfax County was awarded a $16 million grant to replace segments of aging rail line on which Amtrak's Southwest Chief operates. The grant will fund critical repair work in New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado. The Southwest Chief runs from Chicago to Los Angeles, and stops in several New Mexico communities.

The Indiana Department of Transportation was awarded a $10 million grant to rebuild approaches to the Maunie Railroad Bridge in Posey County. The grant will cover half of the estimated $20 million project price tag. The Maunie Railroad Bridge was built in 1926 and timber approaches on both the Indiana and Illinois sides of the bridge are in dire need of replacement. The bridge provides a critical link between coal miners, farmers, refiners, manufacturers and river ports located along the Evansville Western Railway.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation will use a $9.9 million grant toward a $16.5 million program to reconstruct the 114-year old North Canadian River Bridge in order to handle 286,000-pound railcars.

The city of Spokane Valley, Wash., will use its $9 million TIGER grant to eliminate two at-grade rail crossings, which will allow for a five-mile Quiet Zone to be implemented.

The city of Forth Smith, Ark., will receive approximately $8.5 million to repair and rehabilitate three rail bridges that cross Clear Creek and the Arkansas River.

Clearwater County in Idaho will receive $3.24 million grant for the repair of the Jaype to Lewiston rail line, which has been inactive since 2001. The $7.3-million project will repair three bridges, remove debris from another 18 bridges and repair five washouts along the 30-mile line. The project will also replace approximately 46,000 crossties, 36,000 tons of ballast and replace 15 crossings among other maintenance activities.

While not included in the total, an $18.2 million grant to the New Jersey Department of Transportation will replace a road bridge over two rail lines. However, the geometry changes made to the new bridges will benefit freight movement on the rail lines below, as well as facilitate future passenger rail service.

USDOT notes that since the TIGER grant program was first created, $5.6 billion has been awarded for capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure over nine rounds of competitive grants.