WASHINGTON — The Federal Railroad Administration has awarded the county of Lycoming, Penn., a $2.4 million Rail Line Relocation grant to build a new bridge spanning the Loyalsock Creek in Loyalsock Township and Montoursville Borough.
The existing Lycoming Valley Railroad (LVRR) bridge was severely damaged by flood waters caused by Tropical Storm Lee in September 2011. The bridge handles all traffic to and from the LVRR hub in Williamsport and had handled approximately 30,000 rail car moves per year.
As a result of the bridge damage, the LVRR uses a circuitous route to serve the LVRR’s 30 railroad customers. The new bridge will be able to accommodate heavier train loadings, and positions the LVRR to handle additional business from the emerging Marcellus Shale natural gas industry.
Additional funding for the new bridge has been secured by a $4.7 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and $862,612 from the Federal Highway Administration. In addition, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is contributing $3.5 million, and the SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority (JRA) is contributing $1.27 million.
Lycoming County is one of eight members of the SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority (JRA), an eight-county municipal authority that owns 200 miles of railroad in central Pennsylvania. Its trackage is segmented into five short line railroad operations that are operated under contract, by private operators.