MDOT rail director touts opportunities presented by Sec. Buttigieg announcements
On Thursday, June 2, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced Thursday in Michigan $368 million in rail infrastructure and safety grants to 46 projects in 32 states, with about $30 million flowing to Michigan.
On this week’s edition of the Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, Peter Anastor, who directs the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Office of Rail, talks about the economic benefits to the rail companies and businesses they serve.
Buttigieg made the case for the grants in an op/ed published in the Detroit Free Press:
President Biden tasked us with strengthening our supply chains, speeding the movement of people and goods, increasing production, and helping usher in newer, cleaner and cheaper energy - all of which will lower costs for families. And thanks to the president’s historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we have the resources we need to do just that.
The grants include $21.3 million for a proposed project to improve track and rail assets operated by the Great Lakes Central Railroad just north of Ann Arbor, according to the Federal Railroad Administration.
The second grant of up to $8.7 million will go to the West Michigan Railroad Co. to pay for infrastructure improvements on roughly 10 miles of track in southwest Michigan.
Anastor also discusses other exciting improvements going on with passenger rail service in Michigan, including ongoing enhancements on the Detroit-Chicago corridor to increase speeds to 110 mph. Elsewhere, advocacy continues for Traverse City-to-Ann Arbor passenger rail service.