WASHINGTON — The City of Chadron and the Nebraska Northwest Railroad will soon begin rebuilding its tracks and rail yard thanks to an agreement with the U.S. Department of Transportation for a $4.9 million grant, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced.
The grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s TIGER II (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) program will be matched by $1.2 million from the City of Chadron.
“Under President Obama’s leadership, projects like this one are creating jobs, reinvigorating the economy and building a world-class transportation network that our businesses need in order to compete now and continue to grow in the future,” said Secretary LaHood.
The project, which will lead to improved freight mobility and safety in the area, includes the replacement of switches, ties, rail and ballast on 7.5 miles of main line track, and 1.2 miles within the Chadron Rail Yard. It will rehabilitate an existing car storage track and upgrade 22 timber bridges. When complete, the improved track will allow the railroad to accommodate the standard 286,000 pound cars used by regional construction and building industry and agricultural industry shippers.
“This project will boost our economic competiveness making it easier and less expensive for businesses to ship their products,” said Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo. “This targeted investment will also increase safety for railroad workers and improve railroad reliability through the replacement of aging infrastructure.”
Under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s popular TIGER II program $600 million has been awarded to 42 capital construction projects and 33 planning projects in 40 states for crucial upgrades to highways, bridges, transit systems, rail lines, bicycle and pedestrian paths and ports. TIGER II grants were awarded to projects that promote innovative, multimodal transportation, increase energy-efficiency and provide significant economic benefits to an entire metropolitan area, region or the nation.