Holyoke, Ware awarded MassDOT industrial freight grants

Grants designed to expand industrial rail and freight access opportunities

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Two western Massachusetts communities are receiving MassDOT grants to expand industrial rail and freight access opportunities.

According to a MassDOT news release, Holyoke and Ware have been granted $995,000 and $123,720 respectively as part of the 2017 Industrial Rail Access Program awards.

In Holyoke, the money will help fund two projects. The first project aims at improving the connectivity between Pan Am Railways and Pioneer Valley Railroad. The other project will use the awarded grant money to extend the existing rail spur into a expanded recycling facility that will accommodate both non-recyclable construction debris and recyclable solid waste.

Ware will use the money to expand the capacity of the Tri-County Recycling track, which according to MassDOT, will lead to increased rail traffic, reduced truck traffic and additional rail-based jobs.

“This unique program supports economic development and job growth across the Commonwealth by expanding and improving access to the rail infrastructure so important to the success of our employers,” Governor Charlie Baker said in the news release. “Freight rail shipping is a priority for the competitiveness of companies large and small, connecting their sites and products to the marketplace so they can thrive, grow and create additional job opportunities for our residents.”

The grant program is in its fifth year.