Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today announced the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) has been awarded a $20 million federal grant to upgrade 31 rail bridges along the Vermont Railway between Rutland and Hoosick, NY, improving access to freight movement through the national rail system.
The project is projected to cost $31 million. The State of Vermont and Vermont Rail Systems will invest $11 million toward the upgrades.
“Modernization of the corridor will provide cost-competitive rates for Vermont shippers, most of which are rural businesses, improving economic outcomes for businesses here in Vermont,” said Governor Phil Scott. “I want to thank our congressional delegation - Senators Leahy and Sanders, and Congressman Welch - for helping secure federal investment as part of this project, as well our Agency of Transportation for this important work.”
“In addition to many economic benefits, the infrastructure improvements will reduce truck traffic along U.S Route 7 and adjacent highways, will enable the expansion of intercity passenger rail, and will ensure a state of good repair for bridges over the next 75-100 years,” said Transportation Secretary Joe Flynn.
With no access to interstates, the South-West region of Vermont is highly dependent on rail for freight movements. Increased access to freight movement will improve the regions truck congestion, increasing safety and quality of life in the local communities along the corridor.
The grant was awarded through the Department of Transportation’s Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grants program.