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Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo yesterday joined representatives of the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), Union Pacific Railroad, Amtrak and contractor OCCI Inc. to mark the opening of a new $28 million bridge across the Osage River in Osage City, Mo.The project, which was completed ahead of schedule and under budget, will add capacity and improve on-time performance for freight trains and Amtrak's Missouri River Runner trains operating between Kansas City and St. Louis, Federal Railroad Administration officials said in a press release.The 1,200-foot bridge removes a major bottleneck caused when two tracks would funnel to one to cross the river on a single track, then connect back to a double mainline. With the new bridge installed, the rail corridor between Jefferson City and St. Louis consists entirely of two mainline tracks."This new railroad bridge is yet another strategic investment in our rail infrastructure that will allow for higher performing passenger rail, while also laying a foundation to invest in faster, more frequent and even more reliable service," said Szabo.The project received $22.6 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding under the U.S. Department of Transportation's High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Program. UP funded the remaining costs. OCCI constructed the bridge, which now will be used by dozens of Missouri River Runner and UP trains daily traveling along the 283-mile Kansas City-St Louis corridor.
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