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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation
TIGER VII: A look at rail-related projects
The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) last week unveiled its decisions in awarding the seventh round of Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program. The agency announced it had awarded a total $500 million in grants to 39 projects in 34 different states, with some projects crossing state lines.
The awards followed the departments evaluation of 627 eligible applications, requesting a total $10.1 billion worth of projects — 20 times the program's available funding.
The rail-related projects that received funds affect projects involving short lines, ports, passenger and commuter rail projects. Since last week, USDOT and industry officials have been releasing details of some of the projects receiving awards.
Below is a summary of some of rail-related projects receiving TIGER VII dollars:
• $10 million to the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville, which will use the money to enhance and expand the port's infrastructure. The project will add nearly 4 miles to the port's existing 11-mile rail network.
• $15 million to the Arizona Department of Transportation to create a four-lane overpass on SR 347 over a double track rail line, and relocate an existing Amtrak station.
• $13.3 million to the Oxnard Harbor District (Port of Hueneme) in California to improve intermodal infrastructure, including deepening berths 1 and 2; strengthening wharf 1; modernizing cargo handling; and extend on-dock rail.
• $15 million to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to restore a blighted area of unused railroad track to a bicycle and pedestrian pathway, which eventually will link three north-south transit lines.
• $10 million to San Diego Unified Port District to modernize the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal, remove obsolete transit sheds and construct a new lay-down area for temporary equipment storage and on-dock rail improvements.
• $15.2 million to the city of La Junta, Colo., to continue rehabilitation of the BNSF Railway-La Junta Subdivision, a project that will add 39 miles of new rail and repair more than 20 miles of roadbed. The project is being done to sustain Amtrak's Southwest Chief service in Colorado, New Mexico and Kansas.
• $10 million to the Connecticut Department of Transportation for the construction of a new commuter-rail station in Bridgeport, Conn., to serve passengers riding MTA Metro-North Railroad trains.
• $14 million to the Commuter Rail Division of the Regional Transportation Authority (Metra) to replace a 134-year-old bridge over the Fox River in Illinois with a new, two-track bridge rigged with a positive train control system.
• $20 million to the Maine Department of Transportation to rehabilitate 380 miles of track throughout the state. The project is backed by a partnership of the Maine Northern Railway, Central Maine and Quebec Railway, Eastern Maine Railway, and Pan Am Railways.
• $10 million to the Minnesota Department of Transportation for the Willmar Rail Connector and Industrial Access project to construct a connection between the Marshall and Morris subdivisions of BNSF Railway Co.'s network.
• $16 million to New Jersey Transit to undertake five "early-action" construction projects that need to be in place before a full replacement of the century-old Portal Bridge over the Hackensack River.
• $25 million to the city of Charlotte and the North Carolina Department of Transportation to support completion of the Gateway Station, including removal of existing track infrastructure, construction of bridges and retaining structures, and installation of track and signals.
• $6 million to the South Dakota Department of Transportation to increase rail capacity for agricultural shippers by constructing 7,000 feet of rail near Phillip, and replacing 10 miles of rail near Huron.
• $10 million to the Vermont Agency of Transportation for the Western Vermont Freight Passenger-Rail project, which will help improve service on the state-owned rail line between Rutland and Burlington, Vt.
• $15 million to the city of Tacoma for the LINK Expansion project, which will more than double the length of the 1.6-mile streetcar line in downtown Tacoma, Wash.
• $14.2 million to the city of Milwaukee to build a 0.7-mile spur extension to a planned streetcar line in downtown Milwaukee.
Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.