On Wednesday, the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) approved a grant of $200,000 to the West Central Ohio Port Authority (WESTCO) in Springfield. This award will be used to rehabilitate a bridge (Bridge 124.67) on the Urbana Rail Line.
WESTCO owns 94 miles of rail across Champaign, Clark, Fayette, Logan and Madison counties. WESTCO leases these lines to the Indiana and Ohio Railway, which provides freight service to customers on the lines. The Urbana Line, which connects Springfield to Urbana and West Liberty, has seen carloadings grow over the last several years. Additionally, WESTCO owns Glen Echo Yard, adjacent to the Navistar plant north of Springfield. All traffic over the Urbana Line traverses Bridge 124.67, so its continued service is crucial for servicing existing customers and further developing Glen Echo Yard and other opportunities.
Louis Agresta, secretary-treasurer of the port authority, said, “the grant award from ORDC will help ensure continued service to the customers. The bridge rehabilitation is important to us as recent inspections indicated high priority repairs are necessary.”
Matthew Dietrich, executive director of the ORDC, said, “this project helps to ensure continued, uninterrupted service to the existing rail customers on the Line. The rehabilitation of the bridge is a long-term investment in Ohio’s infrastructure and helps the community market rail service to potential businesses.”
ORDC assists Ohio companies and communities in creating and retaining jobs by preserving rail service to existing shippers and providing rail service to new customers. In addition, the ORDC funds projects to improve railroad-highway grade crossings to increase safety to the traveling public.
The public is asked to remember always to expect a train when near railroad tracks. Rail lines in Ohio are private property and trespassing is both strictly prohibited and extremely dangerous.
Submitted by the Ohio Department of Transportation.