Valley to Benefit From $1.2 Million Rail Freight Grants for Projects in Lawrence

Lawrence City Hall. (Public domain.)

Two projects, totaling about $1.2 million, are slated to expand the availability of commercial rail freight to Lawrence.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation provided two awards—$700,000 to Environmental Rail Partners and $460,337 to the City of Lawrence. The money is to improve rail and freight access, economic opportunity and job growth. Grant recipients must match state grant funds with other money totaling at least 40% of a project’s total cost.

“We are pleased to work with municipalities and private businesses to help with their rail infrastructure projects. The state’s economic health and our residents’ quality of life depend in great part on how well the Commonwealth’s freight transportation network moves goods regionally, nationally, and internationally,” said acting Transportation Secretary and CEO Monica Tibbits-Nutt.  “Freight industries contributed to approximately 24% of state gross domestic product in 2019, and our goal is to support these industries as much as possible.”

Environmental Rail Partners plans improvements to a transload facility in Lawrence, growing the volume of freight rail shipments and eliminating 6,000 truck trips annually. Lawrence will use its grant to support track rehabilitation within the Lawrence Industrial Park, leading to increased volume and reliability of freight rail shipments and retaining or creating 21 jobs.

Lawrence Planning and Development Grant Manager Ilialis Reyes said, “This IRAP funding will further increase the city’s worth and positively impact our infrastructure, environment, and current and future businesses at the Industrial Park.”

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