A $30 million federal government investment in Michigan’s rail infrastructure is expected to strengthen supply chains and, in turn, create more jobs in urban and rural communities across the state.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) made the announcement on Thursday, June 2. This funding is part of the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements grant program, which awarded 46 projects in 32 states and District of Columbia funds totaling more than $368 million.

“Americans deserve a world-class rail system that gets people and goods where they need to go faster and more cheaply, while reducing traffic and pollution on our roads,” said the U.S. Secretary. to Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, in a statement. “We are proud to award these grants to improve passenger rail for passengers and strengthen the freight rail transportation that underpins our supply chains and drives our economy.” »

The state of Michigan received a total of $30 million split between two projects, both of which fall under federal law requiring that 25% of program funds be allocated to rural projects.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has received up to $21.3 million for the Great Lakes Corridor Improvement Project, which will rehabilitate rail and rail assets operated by the Great Lakes Central Railroad just north of Michigan. ‘Ann Arbor.

The MDOT project includes the installation of 4.25 miles of new rail tracks, the elimination of rail joints on an additional 41.25 miles of main track, the replacement or rehabilitation of 11 bridges and culverts, and the installation of approximately 30,000 railway sleepers on main track and siding.

It will eliminate 16 slow order tracks, or areas where train speeds are slowed due to poor condition of part of the track. Replacing these slow tracks, which cover a 45-mile section of the 260-mile main track corridor, is expected to result in fewer track defects, derailments and other maintenance issues associated with rail joints.

MDOT and the Great Lakes Central Railroad will provide 50% of the funding for this project, according to federal authorities.

The West Michigan Railroad Co. will receive up to $8.7 million to fund infrastructure improvements on approximately 10 miles of West Michigan Railroad in southwestern Michigan.

Project elements include replacing rails and ties, rebuilding roadbeds, repairing bridges and switches, rebuilding approximately 5.6 miles of track, and upgrading and replacing two crossings at grade where the railway intersects a city street. Improvements to the existing track will bring portions of the line from five mph to at least speeds of up to 25 mph and ensure the line can continue to operate 286,000-pound cars.

The West Michigan Railroad Co. and MDOT will contribute 35% of the financing for this project.

“This round of CRISI grants – one of the largest ever – is a major step forward for the FRA and the Biden administration’s efforts to revitalize and rebuild the country’s infrastructure,” said the FRA administrator. , Amit Bose, in a statement. “These awards will allow FRA to support rail projects that have a direct impact on many communities nationwide, while laying the foundation for future growth.”

Visit the Federal Railroad Association website for a complete list of this year’s Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements grant recipients.

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