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The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has finalized a $10 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) III grant for the Port of Northern Montana's multi-modal hub in Shelby, Mont.Originally announced in December 2011, the TIGER III grant now is obligated to the Northern Express Transportation Authority to complete the final phase of the $17 million project, USDOT officials said in a press release.The project involves relocating a small BNSF Railway Co. facility from downtown Shelby to an industrial park and creating a hub to receive and deliver intermodal unit trains. The project calls for constructing 10,860 lineal feet of track to support intermodal trains, a 3,600-lineal-foot access road to the facility and a 20-acre laydown yard to stage oversized equipment.Currently, Montana lacks an inland port to handle containerized cargo by rail, USDOT officials said. The hub will provide expanded export capacity for Montana's agricultural producers and build on $254 million in private investments pledged for related construction projects in the facility's vicinity, they said. In addition, the project supports wind energy development at 11 major wind farm projects."By 2050, America's transportation network will need to move 4 billion more tons of freight annually, [and] projects like this are an important step toward keeping America moving now and in the future," said Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo.
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