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thumbnail_IMG_3256BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration’s Department of Transportation (MassDOT) today announced the awarding of six grants totaling more than $2.42 million from the Industrial Rail Access Program (IRAP) to enhance rail and freight access, economic opportunity, and job growth.

IRAP is a competitive state-funded public/private partnership program that provides financial assistance to eligible 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% of a project’s total cost, and several of today’s awardees will match more than the required minimum.

“These awards successfully leverage public and private funds to provide businesses improved access to rail and freight infrastructure and make new connections with customers,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are pleased to be partners with these companies and continue strengthening our transportation system through the development of rail infrastructure projects.”

“As we collaborate with employers to support these freight and rail projects, we are improving the transportation system and enhancing local development and job growth,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “These partnerships will help expand and increase efficiency of operations, providing long-lasting benefits for the entire Commonwealth.”

“The IRAP program has been extremely valuable in supporting the needs of rail and freight while creating jobs and enhancing economic growth,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “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.”

Applications for the IRAP program were received from freight rail-supported businesses across the Commonwealth. Projects were approved based upon consistency with program requirements and the level of public benefits they offered such as system preservation, mobility, economic development, and safety.

The 2021 recipients include the following:

Broco Oil Inc. ($218,738)
The project will assist Broco Oil to increase the amount of bio-diesel fuel oil that they can receive by rail and distribute by adding a new siding and railcar mover to their new transload facility in Haverhill. The result is expected to increase and improve reliability of railcar deliveries, reduce regional truck traffic and increase employment at the company. Broco Oil is providing 45% of the project cost.

Leominster Packaging & Warehousing ($348,798):
The project will support the installation of a new siding track and equipment to unload plastic pellets to meet demand of area plastic manufacturing businesses. The project will increase the volume of cargo being shipped by rail and eliminate over 300 truck trips on roads in the region. Leominster Packaging & Warehousing is providing 40% of the project cost.

Lynch Materials ($500,000)
The project will provide assistance in the construction of a railcar unloading facility to improve the sand and gravel supply chain to Eastern Massachusetts. Upon completion of the project, 16,000 truck trips will be removed from area roadways annually. Shipment of sand and gravel by rail will support the construction industry by improving reliability and reducing costs. Lynch Materials is providing a 79% match.

Old Boston Road Recycling ($500,000)
The grant will be used to install a baling system at a municipal waste transfer facility that will allow for waste to be baled into bags and loaded on railcars for shipment out of state. Installation of the system will result in the increased annual volume of over 3,000 railcars, the elimination of over 12,000 truck trips and additional employment at the facility. Old Boston Road Recycling is providing 71% of the project cost.

City of Lawrence ($356,670)
The project will result in the rehabilitation of the Lowell Hill Industrial Track, which runs from the railyard in Lawrence to the Lawrence Industrial Park. This project will improve the condition of the track that will lead to improved service to the industrial park and the existing rail shipper in the yard. A partnership between the City of Lawrence and area businesses will provide 40% of the project cost.

United Material Management ($500,000)
The grant will be used to install a baling system at a municipal waste transfer facility that will allow for waste to be baled into bags and loaded on railcars for shipment out of state. Installation of the system will result in the increased annual volume of over 1,500 railcars, the elimination of over 10,000 truck trips and additional employment at the facility. United Materials Management is providing 69% of the project cost.

For more information about the Industrial Rail Access Program (IRAP) please visit: https://www.mass.gov/industrial-rail-access-program.

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