NH Northcoast TIGER Grant Announcement
Last Friday, September 6, 2013 a $1.4 million dollar Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant was awarded for NH Northcoast Rail Corridor Improvements. This accomplishment could not have been possible without our local and statewide partners including: NHDOT, the NH congressional delegation, Governor Maggie Hassan, Executive Councilors Ray Burton and Colin Van Ostern, the City Councils of Rochester, Somersworth, and Dover, the Select Boards of Ossipee, Rollinsford, Wakefield, and Milton.
Joseph Szabo, Federal Railroad Administrator, along with NHDOT Deputy Commissioner Mike Pillsbury, and Boston Sand & Gravel CEO Dean Boylan, announced the grant award and its significance for New Hampshire. Administrator Szabo shared that the grant will repair over 40 miles of rail along the border of New Hampshire and Maine, and will aid in improved safety and efficiency for rail lines between Ossipee and Rollinsford. The project will also repair over a mile of track that has been impassable for over 20 years due to a washout in 1993. Administrator Szabo also added that despite the competitiveness of the TIGER grant process, over $808 million dollars has been invested into rail projects over the five rounds of grant awards.
To further express the significance of the TIGER grant award for the NH Northcoast, Deputy Commissioner Pillsbury explained that, “The project that we will be announcing today will assist in our efforts to attract new industries to the region and to help build a foundation for a stronger and more innovative New Hampshire.”
Boston Sand & Gravel CEO Boylan shared that the 42 miles of rail that will be repaired with the funds has been continually used over three centuries from transportation of freight to and from mill communities in the 1800s, to the current transportation of sand and propane. Reiterating Deputy Commissioner Pillsbury’s comment, Boylan added that, “This grant will ensure the future vitality of the line and will encourage expanded business opportunities here in NH.” Boylan also shared that the repaired rail will carry over 8,000 rail cars per year, which will allow for less transportation of resources by heavy tri-axel trucks and minimize the extent of road and bridge damage on the NH road and highway network.
SRPC is pleased for what this means for the region, and the state, and is happy to share the good news.