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The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) yesterday awarded seven grants totaling $2.2 million as part of this year's Industrial Rail Access Program. The recipients' efforts will result in an additional 16,500 rail carloads per year and eliminate 37,000 truck trips annually from state roadways, state officials said in a MassDOT press release.Created in 2012, the program is a competitive, state-funded public/private program to assist applicants prepared to invest in industry-based rail infrastructure and access improvement projects.The 2016 recipients, their projects and awards are:• Providence and Worcester Railroad (P&W) Southbridge Street Bridge, Worcester, $500,000. The project will increase access to the freight-rail system by replacing the bridge to improve costs for shippers that require heavy-load shipments into P&W and Gardner facilities.• Parallel Products of New England Recycling Center Rail Loading Facility, New Bedford, $500,000. This project will support the expansion and relocation of the current operation to a new facility in New Bedford. The project will improve access to rail by the construction of a new siding, and allow the applicant to ship recycled material by rail.• Excel Recycling LLC Scrap Metal Siding Extension, Freetown, $479,700. This effort will extend the existing rail spur to allow increased rail volumes. The business will be able to ship scrap directly to steel mills by rail.• Pan Am Southern LLC Intermodal Facility Pad Enhancement, Ayer, $464,172. The intermodal facility pad improvement project will allow Pan Am to handle 29,500 additional containers each year.• Pioneer Valley Railroad/DCP Mainstream Terminal Propane Terminal Siding Installation, Westfield, $150,000. The rail spur rehabilitation will enable DCP to accept additional rail shipments.• Essroc Cement Corp. Railcar Unloading System, Palmer, $77,364. The project will enable Kanzaki in Ware, Mass., to accept, store and switch additional boxcars.
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