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The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) this week awarded six grants totaling $2.42 million from the Industrial Rail Access Program (IRAP) to enhance rail and freight access, economic opportunity and job growth.
The state-funded public-private partnership program provides financial assistance to applicants to invest in industry-based rail infrastructure access improvement projects. Applicants must match public funds with private funds, with private funds paying at least 40 percent of a project's total cost, MassDOT officials said in the agency's latest blog.
Several of this year's awardees will match more than the required minimum, they said.
The 2020 recipients and their grant amounts include the following:• Lynch Materials, $500,000, for the construction of a rail-car unloading facility to improve the sand and gravel supply chain to eastern Massachusetts.• Old Boston Road Recycling and United Material Management, $500,000 each, for the installation of baling systems at municipal waste transfer facilities that will allow for waste to be baled into bags and loaded on rail cars for shipment out of state.• City of Lawrence, $356,670, for the rehabilitation of the Lowell Hill Industrial Track, which runs from the rail yard in the city to the Lawrence Industrial Park. • Leominster Packaging and Warehousing, $348,798, for the installation of a new siding track and equipment to unload plastic pellets.• Broco Oil Inc., $218,738, for the addition of a new siding and rail-car mover to the company's transload facility in Haverhill. The project is designed to increase the amount of bio-diesel fuel oil received and distributed by rail.
Applications for the grants were received from freight-rail supported businesses across Massachusetts. Projects were approved based on program requirements and the level of public benefits they offer, such as system preservation, mobility, economic development and safety.
"The IRAP program has been extremely valuable in supporting the needs of rail and freight while creating jobs and enhancing economic growth," said Massachusetts Transportation Secretary and Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Pollack.