|Posted on April 20, 2014 at 10:25 AM|
BOSTON — The Patrick administration has awarded seven grants totaling $2.5 million for industrial rail projects as part of the 2014 Industrial Rail Access Program, including money for Fitchburg and Palmer works.
Omnova Solutions is receiving $500,000 for the 123 Industrial Park Rail Siding Phase II rehabilitation on Pan Am Southern in Fitchburg.
New England Central Railroad is receiving $499,800 for the industrial park freight capacity expansion project in Palmer.
The money for the seven projects, announced April 14, is being matched by more than $1.9 million in private-sector funds for a total $4.5 million investment in freight rail improvements in the second year of the IRAP program.
The Industrial Rail Access Program, created as part of the 2012 Transportation Bond Bill, provides grants to railroads, rail shippers and municipalities providing public benefits through improved use of the rail transportation network or enhancing economic growth through rail access.
"The Patrick administration has made better access to freight rail service a priority," said state Transportation Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey. "The carefully selected projects are designed to work with regional and local transportation plans for the benefit of each community and area."
"Improving access to freight rail creates opportunities for companies to do business more efficiently and expand economic opportunity," said Greg Bialecki, secretary of Housing and Economic Development. "This targeted grant program represents a solid investment and smart public-private partnership."
"When we invest in rail to better move people and goods, the bottom line is that we are creating jobs and improving opportunity for people across the commonwealth," said Bevery Scott, state DOT rail transit director and MBTA general manager. "These grants also boost a freight rail industry that has a positive impact on our environment."