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Rail News: Intermodal

Minnesota DOT opens application period for freight funding program

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) last week announced cities, counties and other government entities in the state could begin to apply for funding through its Highway Freight Program. 

The program is designed to help meet the state’s freight transportation needs by improving the safety and mobility of freight transport, MnDOT officials said in a press release. About $90 million is available in funding for fiscal years 2019 to 2022.

The majority of program dollars are for highway projects benefiting freight, but 10 percent of the funding is set aside for intermodal projects that support surface transportation to move freight in or out of ports and waterways, MnDOT officials said. Intermodal projects should increase the total number of additional annual container lifts, cut handling and shipping time, and reduce shipping costs, they said.

“We will select projects on the basis of freight volume, freight safety and mobility benefits, freight facility access, cost effectiveness and project readiness,” said Bill Gardner, MnDOT’s director in the Office of Freight and Commercial Vehicles.

Program funding is provided by the federal Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The application deadlines are Aug. 18 for intermodal projects and Aug. 31 for highway projects.

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More News from 7/5/2017