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Port of Vancouver USA, Washington state and rail industry officials yesterday dedicated the West Vancouver Freight Access project, a $251 million investment in rail infrastructure at the port.The decade-long project is designed to improve freight-rail movement through the port and along BNSF Railway Co. and Union Pacific Railroad mainlines connecting the Pacific Northwest to rail hubs in Chicago and Houston, and from Canada to Mexico.Project funding came from port dollars and federal and state grants."Whether we're talking about how the project reduces rail congestion on the mainline and expands our capacity to 400,000 rail cars per year, or how it supported thousands of family-wage jobs during design, engineering and construction — as well as jobs for the future — this has been a critical project with far-reaching benefits for our community, region and nation," said Port of Vancouver Chief Executive Officer Julianna Marler in a press release.Other speakers at the dedication ceremony included Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, BNSF Associate Vice President of Community Affairs Andrew Johnsen, United Grain Corp. Chief Operating Officer Augusto Bassanini, International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 4 President Cager Clabaugh and HDR Senior VP Scott Goehri.
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