Pennsylvania State's $26.1 Million Investment to Expand, Improve Rail and Aviation Operations

HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- State investments of $10 million in aviation and $16.1 million in rail freight will help improve facilities, help businesses expand operations and ensure safety across Pennsylvania.

"Pennsylvania's numerous transportation options make us a great place to do business and put people to work," Governor Tom Corbett said. "These projects will supplement the state's new comprehensive transportation plan which next year, increases dedicated funding for aviation, rail freight and more.

"Having reliable investments will help even more businesses and facilities expand and operate safely because they know Pennsylvania values transportation."

The grants were approved today by the State Transportation Commission, which evaluates and assesses the resources needed to maintain and expand the state's transportation system. The 15-member commission includes the Secretary of Transportation, Barry Schoch, 10 private citizens appointed by the governor, and the majority and minority chairs of the state Senate and House Transportation Committees.

The state investments will be distributed through the Capital Budget/Transportation Assistance Program. Underscoring the cooperation among the private sector and state and local governments, the grants leverage $20.2 million in local investments.

The state has 133 public-use airports and heliports and 15 of those airports have scheduled commercial service. Pennsylvania has 67 operating railroads, the highest number in the nation.

Authorized by the General Assembly, the grants are administered by PennDOT's Bureaus of Aviation and Rail Freight, Ports and Waterways.

For more information, visit www.dot.state.pa.us and then click on the "2013-2016 Transportation Improvement Program" button, or call 717-783-8800.

Media contacts:
Erin Waters-Trasatt, PennDOT; 717-783-8800
Steve Chizmar, Governor's Office; 717-783-1116

Editor's Note: Following is a by-county list of rail and airport improvement grant recipients, the amount of funding, and a brief description of the projects:

Rail Projects
Allegheny County: Pittsburgh & Ohio Central Railroad -- $525,000 to replace more than 12,000 feet of track, install a rail crossover and improve nearly five miles of track.

Allegheny, Washington counties:

  • Allegheny Valley Railroad Co. -- $1.3 million to make improvements to track between Bruceton and Washington required for heavier freight traffic to move safely.
  • Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway, Co. -- $2.8 million to remove deteriorated rail, install nearly 13 miles of new track and improve additional track and four public railroad crossings.

Berks County: East Penn Manufacturing Co., Inc. -- $644,815 to construct a new three-track rail spur off of Norfolk Southern's east mainline.

Cambria and Clearfield counties: RJ Corman Railroad Group PA Lines -- $3.9 million for track renewal in two tunnels, tie installation and expanding an existing building in the Clearfield yard for equipment maintenance.

Erie County: Greater Erie Industrial Development Corp. -- $2.6 million to acquire an existing sidetrack from the Port of Erie and construct three new sidetracks (totaling approximately 2,250 track feet) to provide rail-car storage, active product unloading and transfer and a locomotive run-around. This will support a new biomass terminal producing wooden pellets for export. 

Lancaster County: Strasburg Railroad -- $1.1 million to make track and grade-crossing improvements to increase capacity in the East Strasburg yard to support increased freight movement. 

Lycoming County: County of Lycoming -- $370,113 to rehabilitate 2,000 feet of track that has been inactive for decades, which will provide much-needed rail service to the NuWeld facility.

Montgomery County: Pennsylvania Northeast Railroad -- $463,400 to rehabilitate 10 miles of track, repair six switches, install cross ties and other infrastructure improvements.

Philadelphia County: Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refining and Marketing -- $10 million to construct nearly 30,000 feet of track and a railcar maintenance area; install 16,000 feet of pipeline to transport crude oil from the offloading facility to the storage tank area; and complete improvements to yard facilities.

Venango County: Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad -- $840,000 to install new crossties on 14.5 miles of the Oil City branch and replace nine grade crossings on railroad property.

Westmoreland County: Three Rivers Marine Rail Terminal, LP -- $1.1 million to build 8,000 feet of track and three switches to enhance storage tracks from the mainline, enabling the company to be a train destination for coal and sand for gas drilling.

York County: York Railway Co. -- $168,000 to upgrade 4.5 miles and one rail crossing of the company's west branch.

Aviation Projects
Allegheny County: Allegheny County Airport -- $900,000 to rehabilitate and restore the historic main terminal buildings.

Blair County: Altoona-Blair County Airport -- $200,000 to replace the fuel facility.

Carbon County: Jake Arner Memorial Airport -- $300,000 to construct hangars.

Erie County: Erie International Airport/Tom Ridge Field -- $100,000 to acquire a tractor and mowing deck.

Luzerne County: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport - $2.6 million to construct a commercial aircraft hangar and demolish the old terminal building complex.

Schuylkill County: Schuylkill County/Joe Zerbey Airport -- $125,000 for the third phase of hangar construction.

Tioga County: Wellsboro-Johnston Airport -- $500,000 to construct a hangar.

Washington County: Washington County Airport -- $2.6 million to construct a taxi lane and apron as well as prepare a hangar site and construct a hangar.

Westmoreland County: Arnold Palmer Regional Airport -- $2 million for the first phase of constructing an addition to the terminal building.

York County: Capital City Airport -- $700,000 to improve terminal area facilities and rehabilitate a hangar.

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor



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