TOPEKA, KANSAS, US — Bartlett Grain is set to receive nearly $2 million for siding expansion, one of 10 projects scheduled to receive a total of more than $5.2 million as part of the Kansas Department of Transportation’s Short Line Rail Improvement Fund Program.
The announcement was made Aug. 17 by Kansas Governor Laura Kelly and Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz at a Gavilon grain elevator in southwest Wichita, Kansas, US. Gavilon is slated to receive more than $280,000 for siding rail replacement as part of the program.
“These 10 improvement projects will connect Kansas grain businesses with new regions and customers, supporting farmers and our agriculture industry,” Kelly said. “My administration will continue to invest in needed and commonsense infrastructure improvements like these to strengthen our growing economy.”
Six projects were awarded to shippers and four projects were awarded to short line railroads in nine counties across Kansas. State funding for the individual projects ranges from $56,000 for the installation of new scales at Kirk Grain to Bartlett’s nearly $2 million that will be used for a siding expansion to increase railcar capacity and carloading capabilities.
Kelly’s office noted that all projects are expected to result in less wear and tear on Kansas roadways and bridges. State funding for the 10 projects will be enhanced by a 30% match from each recipient, meaning more than $7.4 million will be invested in the state’s agricultural infrastructure.
Lorenz said KDOT received 19 applications requesting more than $21 million in this second year of the three-year Short Line Rail Improvement Program.
“In partnership with shippers and short line railroads, these modernization projects are improving commerce and opportunity for Kansas families and their communities,” Lorenz said. “Together we’re working to better connect Kansas-grown grain to the broader network of Class 1 rail for delivery to regional, national and international markets.”
The Short Line Rail Improvement Fund provides $5 million annually for three years. The program was created as part of the Kelly administration’s 10-year, bipartisan Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program.
In addition to Bartlett, Gavilon and Kirk Grain, other companies selected to received funding include: Central Valley Ag Coop, Hutchinson Transportation, Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad, KYLE Railroad, Midland Marketing Cooperative, Scoular Grain Downs, and South Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad.
To view a map of the Short Line Rail Improvement Fund projects click here.