The Massachusetts Department of Transportation recently issued seven grants totaling over $3 million in rail infrastructure grants via the state’s Industrial Rail Access Program or IRAP.
[Above photo by MassDOT]
IRAP is a competitive state-funded public/private partnership program that provides financial assistance to eligible applicants to invest in industry-based railroad infrastructure access improvement projects. Grant recipients must match public grant funds with private funds totaling at least 40 percent of a project’s total cost, the agency said.
“These awards successfully leverage public funds to enhance additional private investment in the rail network and provide businesses with improved access to rail and freight infrastructure and make new connections with customers,” noted Governor Charlie Baker (R) in a statement.
“We are pleased to partner with these companies and continue to strengthen our transportation system through the development of reliable rail infrastructure projects,” he added.
“This program supports projects that increase access to freight rail service and preserve or stimulate economic development through the generation of new or expanded rail service,” explained MassDOT Secretary and CEO Jamey Tesler.
“It’s important to note that investing in rail and freight infrastructure helps reduce truck traffic on our roadways, thereby reducing congestion and greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.
Several state departments of transportation issued similar rail grants over the last few months.
In May, the North Carolina Department of Transportation and Minnesota Department of Transportation issued millions in grant funding to support a variety of railroad infrastructure projects, primarily to meet freight transport needs.
In March, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation provided nearly $15 million in grants and loans to support five freight rail projects across the state – projects worth an estimated $24.4 million, the agency said.
In addition, in February, the New York State Department of Transportation provided $76.4 million to 38 projects aimed at renewing and modernizing New York’s freight rail infrastructure.