| Telegram & Gazette
Local businesses are among the recipients of state transportation grants aimed at enhancing rail and freight access.
The state Department of Transportation on Tuesday announced six grants totaling more than $2.42 million from the Industrial Rail Access Program.
According to MassDOT, IRAP is a competitive state-funded public/private partnership program that provides grants for businesses to invest in industry-based rail infrastructure access improvement projects. Applicants must match public funds with private funds, with private funds paying at least 40% of a project’s total cost, and several of the awardees in the most recent round will match more than the required minimum, MassDOT said.
Two Central Mass. businesses received grants.
Leominster Packaging & Warehousing received $348,798 toward installation of a new siding track and equipment to unload plastic pellets to meet demand of area plastic manufacturing businesses. The project will increase the volume of cargo being shipped by rail and eliminate over 300 truck trips on roads in the region, MassDOT said. Leominster Packaging & Warehousing is providing 40% of the project cost.
United Material Management of Millbury received $500,000 toward installation of a baling system at a municipal waste transfer facility that will allow for waste to be baled into bags and loaded on railcars for shipment out of state. Installation of the system will increase annual volume of over 1,500 railcars, the elimination of over 10,000 truck trips and additional employment at the facility. United Materials Management is providing 69% of the project cost, according to MassDOT.