Longview Port Rail Expansion Receives $2.5 Million in Federal Funding | Government and politics

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The Port of Longview received additional federal funding of $2.5 million for its rail expansion project.

The money for the Industrial Rail Corridor expansion comes from the federal omnibus spending bill President Biden signed into law on Tuesday.

Senator Maria Cantwell helped set up the money for the port project as congressional directed spending. Cantwell visited Longview Harbor in August to discuss the importance of the project to the region.

“To solve the problems in our supply chain, we need new infrastructure to move freight efficiently. This is why the Port of Longview Rail Expansion Project will provide new rail capacity alongside,” Cantwell said in a news release earlier this week.

The expansion of the rail corridor adds two new rail lines and extends the existing two lines crossing the port. The project will significantly increase the port’s rail capacity, which could help attract new tenants and more business.

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The total cost of the expansion is estimated at around $85 million and would be completed in 2027. Longview Port received $16.5 million in November from a federal infrastructure grant.

Port communications director Dale Lewis said $10 million of the port’s money had already been spent on the project. Lewis said the port plans to continue to seek additional funds from the state legislature and members of Congress to support the project.

“We can later ask (Senator Patty) Murray or (Rep. Jaime) Herrera Beutler for more Congressional led money, and we will be,” Lewis said.

Congressional Directed Spending is the new version of earmarking, where members of Congress can choose the specific projects in their district that will receive federal benefits. The assignment process has been absent from Congress since the late 2000s before returning this year in a modified form.

The port expansion was the largest of three projects in Longview to receive funding through the federal omnibus bill. Bill also directed $292,000 to the Longview Police Department to hire mental health personnel for its crisis response team and $200,000 to conduct a feasibility study to expand or improve the layoff. from Longview on the Columbia River.

A tally of projects by Cantwell’s office shows that $14 million was provided to Southwest Washington through the omnibus spending bill. In total, Washington received $51.7 million for 40 projects.

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