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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FHWA 15-11
Monday, April 11, 2011
Contact: Kelly Hanahan
Tel: 202-366-0660

U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces Agreement to Create Crucial Rail Access for the Port of Vancouver

Project Eliminates Freight Chokepoint, Stimulates Regional Economy

WASHINGTON - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced today that work can begin on the West Vancouver freight access project in Washington State now that an agreement has been signed between the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Port of Vancouver.

The project, which received a $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation's TIGER II (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) program, will make safety and efficiency improvements for the entire Port by creating access and eliminating a freight chokepoint.

"Building better access for the Port will help move goods in and out of Vancouver more quickly," said Secretary LaHood. "This will help business and create jobs, and the ripple effect will benefit the entire region."

The West Vancouver Freight Access project will improve freight rail entry and exit from the Port and eliminate the current switchback operation at the at-grade crossing through the BNSF Railway Vancouver Yard, reducing the possibility of train collisions and alleviating congestion.

"TIGER grants are all about supporting projects that will positively impact the community and region," said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. "This port improvement project will stimulate the economy and increase the Port's competitiveness."

The grant was awarded as part of the TIGER II program that the Department announced on October 30, 2010. The projects chosen demonstrate their ability to contribute to the long-term economic competitiveness of the nation, improve the condition of existing transportation facilities and systems, increase energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improve the safety of U.S. transportation facilities, increase livability and create or preserve jobs quickly.

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