MDOT Announces M-REP Grants; $16MM For 10 Freight Rail Projects

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
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LANSING, Mich. – Through the Michigan Rail Enhancement Grant Program (M-REP), the MDOT awards $16 million for 10 rail projects across the state to invest in rail corridors and facilities.

The Michigan Department of Transportation announced grants through its Michigan Rail Enhancement Grant Program (M-REP) have been awarded to 10 freight rail projects across the state. Totaling $16 million, these grants will go toward investing in rail corridors and facilities to improve safety and efficiency. In addition, these grants will leverage around $11 million in private investments.

According to the release, these grants will reimburse up to 70% of project costs that are “associated with railroad track, bridges, grade crossings, rail scales to weight freight cars on mainline corridors and at rail yards, intermodal facilities, and transload facilities.” In addition, MDOT states that freight rail rolling stock or movable equipment may also be considered if plans are submitted that provide adequate controls for Michigan-specific use.

Below is a table from MDOT of M-REP Fiscal Year 2024 Projects:

ApplicantLocationProject DescriptionM-REP GrantProject Total
Adrian and Blissfield Railroad Co.Ingham, Jackson, Lenawee countiesRail, tie, ballast replacement, track surfacing, and yard improvements$3,895,208 $7,082,197 
Coopersville and Marne RailwayWalkerIndian Mill Creek Bridge repairs$101,750 $185,000 
Delray Connecting RailroadRiver RougeZug Island “Shortcut Bridge” Rehabilitation $2,308,625 $4,617,250 
Grand Elk Railroad Inc.Luce CountyTie and ballast replacement and bridge repairs$2,230,693 $3,186,704 
Great Lakes Central Railroad Inc.OwossoSan Yard tie and ballast replacement$1,340,201 $2,061,848 
Lake State Railway Co.FlintFlint Coldwater Yard Improvements$599,662 $922,557 
Lake State Railway Co.Bay, Arenac countiesRail, tie, ballast replacement, and track surfacing$1,156,376 $1,779,039 
Lake State Railway Co.WixomEstablishment of new transload facility$761,925 $1,088,465 
Lake State Railway Co.Iosco County Rail, tie, ballast replacement and track surfacing $2,482,037 $4,659,305 
Mid-Michigan Railroad Co. (Michigan Shore Railroad)FerrysburgGrand River Swing Span Rehabilitation$800,000 $1,470,000 

State Transportation Director Bradley C. Wieferich said, “Michigan’s freight rail system has always been a vital asset in keeping our economy moving by transporting everything, like agricultural products, finished automobiles, consumer goods, building materials, and much more. . . These grants will assist railroads in making crucial infrastructure investments that will help provide for safe and efficient transportation.”

A&B President Chris Bagwell expressed appreciation at “the MDOT Office of Rail’s commitment to the Adrian and Blissfied Railroad (A&B). . . The M-REP funding allows for continued enhancement of our track infrastructure, as well as driving economic value for Michigan businesses who ship bulk commodities on our lines. Outside of our existing freight business, the increased capcity realized through these projects makeit more enticing for potential outside entities to locate in Michigan, driving business growth in our home state. When evaluating private and public partnerships, MDOT has set the standard on what that can look like. We are not only grateful for MDOT’s support of A&B, but also grateful for their support of the Michigan rail network as a whole.”

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