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Rail, Ayer Industrial Rail Access Expansion 2017MassDOT has announced that it is now accepting applications for grants under the Industrial Rail Access Program (IRAP) which helps increase rail and freight access, economic opportunity, and job growth.

IRAP provides grants to railroads, rail shippers and municipalities for projects that will create public benefits by  improving access to freight rail service. The program, now in its seventh year, leverages private investment to make it easier for Massachusetts industries to use freight rail – a choice that offers energy and environmental benefits and which can help reduce  truck traffic.

All applications will be due on Thursday, August 29. Projects are approved based upon consistency with program requirements and the level of public benefits they offer such as system preservation, mobility, economic development, and safety.

In the most recent round of IRAP awards, over $1.8 million was distributed to five projects throughout the Commonwealth. These five projects are expected to create at least 60 new jobs, eliminate 24,300 regional truck trips each year, and support over 3,650 rail cars each year. State funding for these five projects will be matched by over $2.4 million in private funds.

The Transportation Bond Bill filed by Governor Baker on Thursday, July 25, titled An Act Authorizing and Accelerating Transportation Investment, includes a reauthorization for IRAP grants.

For more information and to apply, visit the IRAP program website.

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