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August 4, 2017 5:15 PM, EDT
US DOT Announces Grants for Small Freight Projects

Intermodal improvements at the Port of Indiana and a replacement for the Rogers’ Rangers Bridge in New Hampshire were among the freight projects chosen to receive federal grants, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced this week.

The grants were authorized by the 2015 FAST Act highway law with the intention of enhancing freight connectivity nationwide. Congress may disapprove of the projects DOT chose for the additional funding.

The Port of Indiana would be awarded $9.8 million to build “efficiency-enhancing improvements” as a way to boost cargo handling. Upgrades would include a truck-barge-truck conveyor system, a westside rail yard, and a connection to the port’s main terminal and rail yard.

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation would receive $5 million to replace the Rogers’ Rangers Bridge along U.S. Route 2 across the Connecticut River. The replacement bridge would connect the state with Vermont. Built in 1950, the current bridge is in poor condition and used by 3,500 vehicles daily. About 10% of those vehicles are trucks.

“Replacing the bridge will provide economic and mobility benefits, particularly to freight traffic such as logging trucks that will be able to utilize this crossing,” U.S. DOT noted in a letter to Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Other projects are the North Central Mississippi Railway Project with a proposed grant for $7.5 million, and the Evans Avenue Railroad Grade Separation Improvements in Ohio, which would receive $5.7 million.