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Monday, April 08, 2013    

USDOT obligates TIGER III grant for rail line upgrade in North Dakota

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) on Friday announced it obligated a $10 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery III grant to the state of North Dakota to help fund the rebuilding of a BNSF Railway Co. mainline near Devil's Lake, N.D.

A 20-mile segment of the line and two railroad bridges between Devils Lake and Church's Ferry have been closed several times over the past few years due to spring floods. In 2009, BNSF rerouted dozens of trains around the segment each day because of rising water. Amtrak also operates trains along the route as part of its Empire Builder service between Chicago and Seattle.

The project calls for raising the track and bridges to help provide relief from future floods, and performing other upgrades near Devil's Lake to ensure the long-term viability of freight- and passenger-rail operations along the route, USDOT officials said in a news brief. The work will enable the railroads to increase operating speeds and lower maintenance costs, they said.

Estimated to cost nearly $100 million, the project also will be funded by BNSF, Amtrak and the North Dakota Department of Transportation.

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