Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Jan. 12, 2022

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MnDOT seeks applicants for rail service improvement program grants

$6.5 million available for railroads, cities, counties, rail shippers

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Railroads, rail shippers, cities and counties are encouraged to apply for up to $6.5 million in available grants for projects that will improve freight rail service that supports economic development, the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced today. The funding is available through the 2022 Minnesota Rail Service Improvement Program. Applications are due March 1.

The MRSI funding was approved during the 2021 special legislative session. Additional funds are expected to be available for more projects in the second half of 2022.

“Reliable freight rail service is essential for the economic well-being of Minnesota’s communities and businesses, and MnDOT continues to recognize this by providing this unique funding opportunity to improve rail service in the state,” said Peter Dahlberg, Office of Freight and Commercial Vehicle Operations program manager.

Examples of projects eligible for MRSI funding include railroad tracks, roadbeds, turnouts, bridges, fixed loading/unloading equipment and buildings. Funding cannot be used for regular or recurring maintenance activities, incomplete or phased projects or engineering, design and right of way acquisition costs.

Those interested in applying for MRSI funding are invited to join MnDOT and others for an informational webinar with Q&A session Thursday, Jan. 27, from 1 to 2 p.m.

Grant applications, information about the webinar and additional MRSI program details are available at mndot.gov/ofrw/railroad/mrsi.html.

A MnDOT project selection team will review and score eligible applications. Award recipients will be notified once selections are made.

Contact Megan Neeck at megan.neeck@state.mn.us for additional information.

The MRSI program has administered more than $62 million in loans and grants for capital improvement projects since it was established in 1976 to strengthen the state’s shipping economy. The program was given authority to issue grants for freight rail service improvements that support economic development in 2017.

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