Baucus Announces $10 Million Grant to Boost Montana Trade, Transportation, Jobs
Senator Secures DOT Grant to Complete Shelby Freight Hub Expected to Create Hundreds of Montana Jobs
Posted: Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Posted: Tuesday, December 13, 2011
(Washington, D.C.) - Montana's senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus today announced a nearly $10 million grant through the federal Department of Transportation (DOT) to complete a centralized freight facility at the crossroads of Interstate-15, Highway 2, and the Great Northern railway in Shelby, Montana. The project, known as the Intermodal Hub, is expected to create hundreds of jobs, reduce transportation and shipping costs for Montana businesses, and make it easier to export Montana products worldwide through West Coast ports.
Baucus contacted DOT in support of Shelby's grant application (read Baucus' letter HERE).
"This is exactly the kind of smart investment we need to get folks back to work and our push our economy forward," Baucus said. "The Intermodal Hub is a perfect example of local ingenuity and public-private partnerships working together to create jobs. I commend the good folks in Shelby for their hard work to get his project off the ground and I'm proud to support it."
"Since 1990, this project has been about creating family wage jobs in Montana and providing new export opportunities to Montana's agricultural producers," said Shelby Mayor Larry Bonderud. "The facility will also play a key role in supporting Montana's energy industries by improving energy supply delivery to the state. The Port of Northern Montana and the City of Shelby-along with all 56 public and private project stakeholders-want to extend a huge thank you to Max Baucus for supporting this project since day one. Senator Baucus' unwavering support over the years helped make this project a reality."
The Port of Northern Montana was awarded a $9,998,910 grant through the Department of Transportation's TIGER III (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Program.
The Port of Northern Montana Multimodal Hub Center represents 21 years of hard work and extensive public and private outreach. Today's grant will help fund Phase 3 construction to complete a missing freight rail transportation link between the State of Montana and all ports served by Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) on the West Coast and Great Lakes. Primary port connections include the Ports of Seattle, Tacoma, Longview and Vancouver in Washington State and the Port of Duluth in Minnesota. Federal funds will be combined with a 42 percent non-federal match and used to complete the construction of an inland port. The federal investment will construct 10,860 lineal feet of track per BNSF specifications to support BNSF's Class 1 intermodal trains, construct an access road to the facility of 3,600 lineal feet and construct a 20-acre laydown yard to stage oversized equipment.
Completion of the Shelby Intermodal Hub will allow Montana business owners to transport goods to and from the Pacific Northwest by freight instead of heavy truck, cutting down on costs and increasing efficiency. The project will also allow truckers to move more freight more quickly and efficiently through the hub.
Six Montana counties will see direct benefits from the project, including Hill, Liberty, Toole, Glacier, Pondera, and Teton. And residents and business owners of 28 additional counties in the 400 square mile surrounding area will have access to more affordable goods and services.
According to the City of Shelby, 85 percent of TIGER III funds will be spent on infrastructure construction. The City estimates the construction phase alone will create 191 family wage jobs. Once the new rail facility opens, operations activities will generate further employment opportunities. By year 2015, the City estimates 107 new jobs will be created, growing to 537 new jobs by 2035.
The project is also expected to indirectly support hundreds of additional jobs across the Midwest-to-Northwest transportation corridor.
The Pacific Rim includes many of Montana's top export markets, and Montana businesses rely on West Coast ports to reach those markets. By allowing Montana businesses to ship their goods to port via freight rail, the Shelby Intermodal Hub will make it cheaper, faster and easier for Montana businesses to sell their goods worldwide.
Additional information is available HERE.
Contact: Kate Downen 406-224-5056/Jennifer Donohue 202-224-2651/ Kathy Weber 406-329-7980
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