Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Coos Bay Rail to See Federal Grant

By Karen Robes Meeks

An effort to rehabilitate 15 bridge structures along the Coos Bay Rail Line will soon receive a significant financial boost.

The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay is the recipient of a $20 million US Department of Transportation Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development grant, thanks to an award proposal that included 40 letters of support from port stakeholders.

The port-owned rail line stretches 134 miles through Coos, Douglas, and Lane Counties. With a $5 million match from the port, the $25 million project will repair and improve the Coos Bay Swing Span Bridge, the Siuslaw River Swing Span Bridge, the Umpqua Swing Span Bridge, the replacement of the Vaughn Viaduct near Veneta, Coalbank Slough Bridge in Coos Bay, and 10 bridges in Lane County.

“The shippers on the line directly employ close to 1,000 people throughout southwest Oregon with family wage jobs, supporting the economic fabric of our community,” the port said. “These businesses depend on rail as a competitive transportation option while ensuring adequate capacity to move goods to market.”