Washington DOT offers rail freight project funding
If your organization has a great plan to improve rail freight movement in Washington state, officials in Olympia may be willing to write a check for up to $250,000.
The Washington State Department of Transportation is seeking proposals from interested parties who have undeveloped plans that would bolster economic development through the advancement of freight rail activities.
'The goal of the Rail Bank is to assist with the funding of smaller capital rail projects,' said Scott Witt, state rail and marine director. 'By making these funds available, the legislature is helping to improve freight movement by rail throughout the state.'
Railroads, port districts, rail districts, private companies and local governments are eligible to compete for Rail Bank project funds under a program created in April. Project funds will be in the form of interest-free loans. The state is also accepting applications for straight grants, as the ability to make grants as well as loans may change during the period of the application.
The state agency is looking to disburse a total of $2.5 million for 2007-2009 projects and funding for the Rail Bank may increase to $5 million in the future.
Under the loan program, an organization can receive up to $250,000 for rail capital projects. The one catch is that state funds must be matched by at least 20 percent of funds from other sources. Project examples offered up by the state DOT include:
' Development of strategic multimodal consolidation centers.
' Purchase of rail rolling stock.
' Improvements and/or additions to terminals, yards, roadway buildings, fuel stations, railroad wharves or docks.
' Communication operating system improvements and/or additions.
' Siding track, railroad grading, or tunnel bore improvements/modifications.
' Bridges, trestles, culverts or other elevated or submerged structures.
To aid potential applicants, WSDOT staff will conduct free workshops at the following locations: Vancouver and Union Gap, Oct. 1; Spokane and Wenatchee, Oct. 2; Tacoma, Oct. 5; Mount Vernon, Oct. 15.
The WSDOT is requiring advanced registration for participation in the workshops. Interested organizations can sign up for a workshop and/or request a proposal packet by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling (360) 705-7900.
Proposals must be postmarked be Oct. 25, and may be submitted electronically to: email@example.com, or by mail: WSDOT, Director of State Rail and Marine, P.O. Box 47407, Olympia, WA 98504-7407. They may not be submitted by fax.
WSDOT plans to submit a prioritized list of projects to the Washington State Legislature by Dec. 1. If approved, the funds will be available during 2008.