“As part of the Massachusetts State Rail Plan, we are focused on increasing access for freight rail service to support regional economic growth,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray. “By investing in these projects, we are upgrading the Commonwealth’s freight rail network which will not only attract new business and jobs, but also promote a more efficient transportation of goods and services.”
“Our team has closely vetted the recipient proposals to assure conformity with local and regional transportation plans as well as economic development initiatives,” said Secretary Davey. “We will monitor closely the completion and success of these projects.”
The MassDOT Industrial Rail Access Program created through the 2012 Transportation Bond Bill provides grants to railroads, rail shippers and municipalities who identify a public benefit gained through improved use of the rail transportation network or that will facilitate economic growth through access to rail assets within the Commonwealth.
The nine IRAP recipients will receive a total of $2.85 million with matching funds covered by each applicant. The list of recipients is available after the break.
Church Street LLC & Frade’s Disposal on the Mass Coastal in New Bedford Frade’s provides disposal services for commercial, industrial and construction paper shredding and recycling services to customers in southeastern Massachusetts.They seek to add a rail siding to better serve their transportation needs. This project will construct a 3,000-foot railroad siding, install a switch, construct a rail served loading dock and improve a private railroad crossing. The project has the potential to generate 800 carloads,
IRAP Award: $427,500 Match $285,000 Total Project Cost: $712,500
Maritime Terminal on the Mass Coastal Railroad in New Bedford Maritime Terminal is a cold storage company in the Port of New Bedford. They receive over 100 refrigerated railcars per year at an offsite location and currently truck the contents to the warehouse for storage. This project will rehabilitate an existing rail spur and loading dock at their warehouse. The project is crucial to properly serve this important rail market and to reduce the number of truck movements.
IRAP Award: $65,889 Match $43,926 Total Project Cost: $109,816
Covanta SEMASS on the Mass Coastal Railroad in Rochester The Covanta SEMASS in Rochester is a waste-to-energy facility that processes approximately 1.1 million tons of municipal solid waste that is generated in eastern Massachusetts. This project will install a switch and approximately 400 feet of track into an existing truck load out bay on the SEMASS facilities tipping floor. The project will allow Covanta SEMASS to continue shipping 40 rail cars per year of Non-Ferrous metals as well as potentially 350 rail cars per year of other metals.
IRAP Award: $167,040 Match $111,360 Total Project Cost: $278,400
MWRA FRRC Quincy – Braintree This project will replace a railroad bridge with a culvert on the Fore River Railroad in Braintree. The bridge originally served a cattle crossing below the railroad, which is no longer needed and is functionally obsolete. The Fore River Railroad is a 2.7 mile shortline in Quincy and Braintree that is wholly owned by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA). The railroad serves freight customers in the Fore River Shipyard.
IRAP Award: $342,000 Match $232,244 Total Project Cost: $574,244
Providence & Worcester Railroad (P&W) in Worcester This project will replace two bridges with a new structure on the P&W Railroad in Worcester. The project is required to maintain rail service to Cargill, a Worcester-based customer of the P&W, as well as preserving access to Midstates Packaging, another Worcester-based customer, for transloading operations. Without the installation of the replacement bridge, P&W will neither be able to provide rail service to Cargill, which will need to use trucks or relocate their operation, nor will they be able to provide rail traffic to Midstates for transloading. The replacement bridge will also carry the road necessary for trucks to access the transloading tracks and to complete transloading.
IRAP Award: $313,214 Match $208,809 Total Project Cost: $522,023
Sherwood Lumber on the New England Central Railroad in Palmer Sherwood Lumber is in the business of wholesale distribution, third party transload and third party logistics operating out its facility in the Palmer Industrial Park on the New England Central Railroad. This project will construct a new rail siding which will increase the number of cars handled from three to 20 at the same time, as well as make loading dock and laydown area improvements. The project is expected to increase efficiency by 30 percent, reduce operating costs by 30 percent and potentially increase carloads by 100 percent.
IRAP Award: $500,000 Match $1,175,000 Total Project Cost: $1,675,000
New England Central Railroad (NECR) Amherst This project will improve the main line tracks of the New England Central Railroad in Amherst. The project is located near Amherst's water supply and the railroad suffered two derailments in this area in 2011. The NECR is a shortline railroad, which runs north/south from the Vermont and Quebec border to New London, Conn. serving customers in Palmer, Belchertown, Monson and Millers Falls.
IRAP Award: $500,000 Match $1,052,597 Total Project Cost: $1,552,597
Grafton & Upton G&U Hopedale This project will expand and make improvements to Hopedale yard by constructing a switching lead and several sidings throughout the yard. The Hopedale yard, as operated by GU logistix, serves as a warehousing and distribution center for the building materials market. The current operations are constrained by the available space and trackage after only two months of operation.
IRAP Award: $221,700 Match $330,300 Total Project Cost: $552,000
Fitchburg Redevelopment Authority PAS Fitchburg This project, which the Fitchburg Redevelopment Authority applied for, will rehabilitate and reconnect a rail siding into the Fitchburg Industrial Park. This siding will be used by Omnova, which needs the rail spur to remain competitive in their industry.
IRAP Award: $309,900 Match $249,959 Total Project Cost: $559,859
MBTA: Weekend Commuter Boat Service Returns May 28 posted on May 26
MassDOT weekend commuter boat service will be provided for the third year between Hingham, Hull, Georges Island, Grape Island and Boston. The service begins Memorial Day weekend and will continue through the Labor Day weekend. “Commuter ferry service on the weekends during the two previous …Continue Reading MBTA: Weekend Commuter Boat Service Returns May 28
Boston: Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Project Community Meeting posted on May 26
MassDOT has scheduled a community meeting for the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Reconstruction Project as follows: Thursday, June 2, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Jacob Sleeper Auditorium (CGS 129), Boston University, 871 Commonwealth Avenue. The Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Reconstruction Project will replace the existing superstructure …Continue Reading Boston: Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Project Community Meeting
Plan Ahead for Memorial Day Weekend Travel posted on May 24
MassDOT encourages travelers to plan ahead and travel safely during the Memorial Day holiday weekend. The heaviest traffic is observed during Thursday, Friday, and Monday afternoons and early evenings. Drivers are encouraged to make travel plans accordingly and if possible avoid peak traffic volumes between …Continue Reading Plan Ahead for Memorial Day Weekend Travel