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The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) on Tuesday announced 86 projects in 35 counties will receive a total of $84 million in Multimodal Transportation Fund grants.In addition, five transit projects that applied for multimodal funding will receive a total of $7.2 million. The grants — which require a 30 percent match from local sources — can be used for freight- and passenger-rail projects, as well as port, aviation and bicycle-pedestrian projects.PennDOT evaluated grant applications based on such criteria as safety benefits, regional economic conditions, technical and financial feasibility, job creation, energy efficiency and operational sustainability."All types of transportation drive our economy and [the fund] gave us the tools to ensure our non-highway modes receive the funding they need to maintain a connected transportation system," said PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch in a press release.The rail-related multimodal grants include:
• $3 million to the SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority to construct a new two-way industrial access road, realign a portion of the Nittany & Bald Eagle Railroad's mainline to accommodate the access road, and construct new sidings and operating tracks for First Quality Tissue's two existing facilities and a proposed new facility;• $3 million to the township of Abington to improve two existing Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority stations to enhance vehicular and pedestrian access;• $2.9 million to Biomass Global L.L.C. for rail infrastructure upgrades that support the operation of a new port facility to receive, store and ship wood pellets;• $1.9 million to Colona Transfer L.P. for upgrades to river cells, dock and rail turnouts, and track rehabilitation for the Colona Transfer facility originally built in the early 1930s;• $1 million to the Economic Progress Alliance of Crawford County to construct an 85-car unit-train loop track in the Keystone Regional Industrial Park that will connect with an existing Norfolk Southern Railway mainline and serve a Deerfield Farms Service grain elevator;• $848,010 to the Johnstown Area Heritage Association to rehabilitate a passenger station to serve the needs of Amtrak riders and to house a visitor welcome center;• $350,000 to Lower Makefield Township to install necessary safety measures at three grade crossings to alleviate train noise on a heavily traveled passenger- and freight-rail corridor; and• $243,750 to Three Rivers Marine & Rail Terminals L.P. to help design and construct five quad tie cells for barge mooring at the Glassport Terminal located on the Monongahela River and a CSX Transportation line.
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