MassDOT announces almost $3-million in Industrial Rail Access Program (IRAP) grants

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BOSTON, Mass. (MassDOT)– The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announced seven grants totaling almost $3 million in awards 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 accounting for at least 40% of a project’s total cost. Several of the awardees will exceed the required minimum match. 

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

The IRAP program received applications from freight rail-supported businesses across the Commonwealth. Projects were approved based on meeting program requirements and the level of public benefits they offered such as system preservation, mobility, economic development, and safety.

The Fiscal Year 2022 recipients include the following: 

  • James Hardie Building Products ($500,000)-The grant will assist James Hardie in installing a siding track at a new building’s products warehouse in Westfield. James Hardie Building Products is providing 84% of the project cost.
  • Excel Recycling LLC ($479,700)-The grant will support the installation of a new siding track at a metal recycling facility that will be served by Mass Coastal Railroad. Excel Recycling LLC is providing 40% of the project cost.
  • Oldcastle Lawn & Garden Inc. ($114,432)-The grant will fund railcar unloading equipment at a concrete material manufacturer by the Housatonic Railroad. Oldcastle Lawn & Garden Inc. is providing 40% of the project cost.
  • Pioneer Valley Railroad ($384,022)-The grant will help expand track capacity of the Easthampton Yard to serve existing and future customers. Pioneer Valley Railroad is providing 40% of the project cost.
  • Grafton and Upton Railroad Company ($500,000)-The grant will be used to assist in the Upton transload facility track expansion. Grafton and Upton Railroad Company is providing 40% of the project cost.
  • WT L and LLC ($500,000)-The grant will be used for expanding capacity of an existing asphalt facility served by Pan Am. WT Land LLC is providing 69% of the project cost.
  • Dana Transport Inc./Equipment Care Center of Oxford LLC ($500,000)-The grant will assist in the expansion of a plastic resin distribution facility served by Providence and Worcester Railroad. Dana Transport Inc. is providing 50% 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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