U.S. Senator Bob Casey joined local officials at the Colebrookdale Railroad in Boyertown Monday morning to highlight $14,681,397 in federal funding to rehabilitate approximately 8.6 miles of track and rehabilitate or replace 14 deteriorating bridges between Boyertown and Pottstown.
The funding comes from the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Grant Program and will also support construction of two rail-served transload yards and improve drainage issues that lead to large quantities of water on nearby roadways.
“The people of Berks County deserve access to safe and efficient railways, rail crossings and bridges,” said Senator Casey. “This is a meaningful investment in the people and infrastructure of this region and it is just the beginning. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will bring even more opportunities to improve passenger and freight rail throughout Pennsylvania.”
Senator Casey recently led a letter to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies advocating for CRISI to receive the fully authorized level of funding included in the recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
“Today we celebrate this critical bit of help, this catalytic injection of hope, we’re great full for the opportunity to chug ahead” said Nathaniel Guest, Executive Director of the Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust. “Thank you, and full steam ahead.”
Berks County Commissioner Christian Leinbach added, “As we see a gallon of gas go through the roof. Moving freight by rail is far cheaper per mile, per ton, than trucking it. And so when ever we have access to rail, that is environmentally sound, financially sound.”
Leinbach continued, “This $14 million dollars has come at a very critical time, to help us address the serious infrastructure needs on bridges and rail bed and the trans load facilities, it will make a difference, I believe for the next 50 to 100 years.”