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Oregon International Port of Coos Bay Receives Advance Grant Notice from the U.S. Department of Transportation

For Immediate Release: October 9, 2020
Coos Bay, OR –

This morning, the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay (Port) received Grant Advance Notification from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) of an award of nearly $10 million through the Port Infrastructure and Development Program (PIDP).  This grant will rehabilitate and replace ties and resurface track at various locations along the Coos Bay Rail Line (CBRL). This project will replace approximately 67,000 crossties and resurface main line, sidings, an industrial lead, rail yard and spur tracks with ballast along the 121 miles of track that stretches from Eugene to Coos Bay, Oregon.  

This award is reflective of the hard work, dedication, and collaborative efforts of Port staff, as well as the tireless support of the south coast’s delegation in Washington D.C. through Senators Wyden and Merkley and Representative DeFazio.  “The support of our delegation in Washington through Senators Wyden and Merkley and Representative DeFazio was critical to the Port receiving the PIDP grant,” stated John Burns, Port CEO.  “Their continued efforts, support, and advocacy have been paramount to the CBRL’s improvement and success”.

The Port is currently nearing completion of its $19.5 million Tunnel Rehabilitation Project which is scheduled to conclude at the end of October.  This project served to conduct structural repairs, track repair, and drainage work in all nine tunnels along the line and was funded through a FASTLANE award through DOT and various State of Oregon funding sources. In early 2019, the Port also received notification of a $25 million BUILD award through the Department of Transportation, which will be matched by a $5 million grant approved by the Oregon State Legislature last session.  This project is scheduled to initiate in the coming months and will serve to conduct full replacement of two steel bridges, and major repairs to 13 bridges.  This will include all three swing span bridges on the line.  The new PIDP grant announced today is instrumental in promoting the overall health of the track infrastructure and will provide a critical step in increasing train speeds, efficiency, safety, and reliability.

The Coos Bay Rail Line serves industrial freight shippers throughout Coos, Douglas, and Lane Counties in rural Oregon.  The line interchanges in Eugene at the Union Pacific rail yard, facilitating inbound and outbound rail traffic from across North America.  Freight rail offers a cost-competitive transportation alternative, keeping local industry strong and promoting future economic growth in our region.  These businesses support approximately 800 jobs in rural communities with family wage jobs. 

For additional information, please contact:
Margaret Barber, Director of External Affairs // 541-266-3713

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