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The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) on Tuesday announced more than $3 million in grants will be awarded as part of the 2017 Industrial Rail Access Program.
The eight awards will be issued to projects that expand or improve rail or freight access, economic opportunity and job growth. The grants require a private-sector match of at least 40 percent, according to a MassDOT press release.
Grants will be awarded this year to:
• PanAm Southern Ayer freight-hub congestion relief, in the amount of $500,000. The project is designed to increase yard capacity to make room for additional rail volume, which will improve customer service. About 89,000 rail cars move through the yard annually.
• United Materials Management Recycling Center rail facility, $500,000.An existing rail spur will be extended to the recently expanded recycling center in Holyoke.
•Pioneer Valley Railroad knowledge corridor service interchange, $495,000. The project is designed to improve connectivity between Pan Am Railways and Pioneer Valley Railroad in Holyoke, which is expected to offer more efficient rail service to shippers.
• PanAm Railways yard tracks 2-4, $494,610. The project is designed to decrease idling, reduce the impact of rail operations on the community, and improve the yards state of good repair.
• PanAm/CIP Saratoga Boulevard LLC rail connection to warehouse, $431,760. The project will create a rail connection to a new 262,000 square-foot paper-handling warehouse, as well as an adjoining warehouse in Deven.
• PanAm/Springfield Terminal Railways turnout tracks, $405,870. Two turnout tracks on the main freight line in Lowell will be rehabbed in an effort to decrease train congestion, improve capacity for freight and passenger trains, and decrease idling on the main line near residential areas.
• Mid-States Packaging Distribution Center track rehab, $105,600. The project is designed to expand rail service to an existing rail customer in Auburn.
• Tri-County Recycling track expansion, $123,720. The recycling center expansion project in Ware is designed to increase rail traffic and reduce truck traffic.