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Port of Vancouver USA officials last week marked the conclusion of a $30 million rail project in Vancouver, Wash., that created a new entrance designed to help trains move more easily into out of the port.Known as the "trench," the project is part of the port’s $275 million West Vancouver Freight Access project, which will help reduce regional rail congestion by up to 40 percent to ensure businesses along the West Coast and between Portland, Ore., and Chicago can more effectively move products to market, port officials said in a press release.U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), who attended the Aug. 13 ceremony, said projects like this one are critical for Washington state businesses to remain competitive in an evolving global market."Freight can't wait. It has to move,” she said in a prepared statement.The trench was designed to eliminate conflicts between trains entering the port. It triples the port's rail capacity, allowing tenants to efficiently move products such as grain, steel, Subaru vehicles and wind-energy components.The trench was completed ahead of schedule and $8 million under budget, port officials said. The entire freight access project is expected to be completed in 2017, about a year ahead of schedule and $50 million under original estimates.
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