CRANDIC receives grant to replace Cedar River Bridge
Grant to cover 80 percent of bridge repair costs
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - May 28, 2009 - The Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railway Company (CRANDIC), an Alliant Energy Transportation Company, has been awarded $6.96 million in disaster assistance relief. The funding from the Federal Railroad Administration's (FRA) Rehabilitation and Repair Program will be used to reimburse CRANDIC for flood-related damages, including reconstruction of the Cedar River Bridge, which was destroyed by flood waters June 12, 2008.
CRANDIC was one of 11 railroads nationally that received grants under the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act of 2009. Under this Act, the FRA was authorized to make grant monies available to railroads that sustained infrastructure damage in areas declared a major disaster by President Bush. This is the first and only grant CRANDIC has received to help cover costs associated with the flood damage.
"The bridge was, by far, the largest loss related to the floods and we're thrilled to receive the assistance to help offset our replacement costs," says Kevin Burke, vice president and general manager - CRANDIC. In total, CRANDIC's infrastructure sustained $11 million in damage, with $9 million attributed to the cleanup and construction of the new bridge. The FRA grant is designed to cover 80% of the total cost of the project.
Burke says CRANDIC is fortunate to have supporters at both the state and federal level. He says Iowa's congressional delegation was instrumental in helping secure funding to repair Iowa's rail infrastructure following the floods, with Representatives Dave Loebsack and Bruce Braley at the forefront of efforts to approve CRANDIC's bridge repair grant request.
"Rebuilding this important bridge will provide a boost to the Iowa economy during these tough times and restore a critical commercial link between Iowa and the rest of the world," said Rep. Braley. "The replacement bridge will help keep transportation costs low for local businesses and retain and create jobs right here in Iowa. I'm glad our efforts to secure federal funding to replace this bridge were successful."
Rep. Loebsack was equally pleased about the FRA grant announcement. "Repairing our railways and bridges are vital to rebuilding Iowa business," said Loebsack. "After the floods of last summer, I fought for the funds necessary to repair and invest in our infrastructure, and I know these funds will be put to good use. By making these essential repairs to our railroads and bridges, we foster economic growth in our communities and businesses for years to come."
Construction on CRANDIC's Cedar River Bridge began in January but progress has been hampered by spring rains. Completion is anticipated around the end of June, barring additional weather delays.
CRANDIC owns and operates more than 100 miles of main line and switching track in four east central Iowa counties. CRANDIC has thrived for more than 100 years as a valuable business partner to eastern Iowa shippers, providing safe and efficient freight service 365 days a year.