Oregon International Port of Coos Bay Receives $20 Million Grant to Support Rehabilitation of Bridge Structures on the Coos Bay Rail Line

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News and Information from Oregon International Port of Coos Bay

For Immediate Release: December 6, 2018

Coos Bay, Ore. - The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay (Port) is pleased to announce the award of a $20 million Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant to support rehabilitation of 15 bridge structures along the Coos Bay Rail Line. The Coos Bay Rail Line, owned and operated by the Port, is a 134-mile short line railroad which runs throughout Coos, Douglas, and Lane Counties supporting the regional and state economy. This grant award would not be possible without the advocacy and support from Port stakeholders. The proposal was submitted to the U.S. Department of Transportation with 40 letters of support, which included Southwest Oregon’s Federal delegation, Oregon State Legislators, shippers utilizing the rail line, municipalities, and community leaders.  Special thanks to Representative DeFazio, Senators Merkley and Wyden, Oregon Senators Roblan, Holvey, Heard and Manning, and Oregon Representatives McKeown, Brock Smith, and Fahey for their support of the BUILD proposal and ongoing support for the Coos Bay Rail Line.

This rehabilitation project will invest a total of $25 million, which includes $5 million in matching funds pledged by the Port, into key bridge structures on the rail line. Bridges that will receive repairs and improvements include the Coos Bay Swing Span Bridge, the Siuslaw River Swing Span Bridge, the Umpqua Swing Span Bridge, the replacement of Vaughn Viaduct near Veneta, and 10 additional bridges in Lane County (see Figure 1). 

Ensuring rail connectivity for the region is critical to maintaining the existing businesses utilizing the line, as well as cultivating an environment which can foster future economic development.  The shippers on the line directly employ close to 1000 people throughout southwest Oregon with family wage jobs, supporting the economic fabric of our community.  These businesses depend on rail as a competitive transportation option while ensuring adequate capacity to move goods to market.

The Coos Bay Rail Line has been in operation for over 100 years, continuing freight connectivity for businesses between Coquille, Oregon and the National Railway network with the Union Pacific interchange yard in Eugene, Oregon. 

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For more information on the Port’s proposed BUILD grant project, please visit https://www.portofcoosbay.com/build2018

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For additional media information, please contact:

Margaret Barber, External Affairs Manager, Oregon International Port of Coos Bay
Phone: 541-267-3713 / E-mail: mbarber@portofcoosbay.com