Walden Announces $19 Million Grant for Port of Morrow Rail Project

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U.S. Congressman Greg Walden (R-Hood River) today announced that the Port of Morrow will receive $19,414,875 from the Department of Transportation through the department’s Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) program.

Walden worked with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to secure the grant, which will be used for the Port of Morrow’s Columbia River Barge Terminal Rail Access Project.

“I spoke with Secretary Chao this morning, and am pleased to announce that the Port of Morrow has been awarded this incredibly important grant to help expand the Port’s rail network to enable rail-to-barge transloading at four marine terminals along the Columbia River,” said Walden. “The enhancement to the Port’s rail-to-barge system will enable the transloading of commodities directly between barge ships and rail cars to create cost-effective shipping options for new and existing industries at the Port. This grant is vital for the completion of a project that will help reduce transportation costs, relieve rail congestion, create jobs, and facilitate the movement of U.S. exports. I am proud to have worked with Secretary Chao and the Port of Morrow team to secure this grant funding, and look forward to the Port’s successful completion to this project that will boost job growth and the local economy in our district and state.”

“This grant is a huge boost to the Port of Morrow and the economic development of the region,” said Port of Morrow General Manager Gary Neal. “Greg went above and beyond advocating for us at the Department of Transportation with letters of support and working closely with Secretary Chao.”

The Port of Morrow is Oregon’s second largest port, and contributes to the economic competitiveness of Oregon, the Pacific Northwest, and the United States by serving as the primary point for freight distribution, export, and value-added production of agriculture products in the region. The Port is strategically located in northeast Oregon at the confluence of primary trucking routes and is served by Union Pacific Railroad, the Columbia River (barge transport), and a Port-owned airport near Boardman.

Along with the Department of Transportation grant funding, the Port plans to provide design and engineering work while leveraging a $6,550,000 grant secured from the state of Oregon for construction.

The proposed rail expansions are designed to capitalize on previous rail investments made by the Port and investments from the state of Oregon, a cooperative of grain growers, and private barge shipping lines to expand a Morrow County Grain Growers’ grain terminal facility at the port.

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