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State approves grants for railroad, Pine Hill Airport

Staff Reports Posted 16 December 2014 at 12:00 am

File photos by Tom Rivers – A train on the Falls Road Railroad passes through Albion near Platt Street.

State officials announced grants for aviation and rail safety projects today, including two to be funded in Orleans County.

Pine Hill Airport in Barre was approved for $42,000 to purchase snow removal and air field maintenance equipment.

The state also approved $466,000 for the Falls Road Railroad Company in Batavia. The company plans to repair culverts and bridges in the railroad that runs from Lockport to Brockport with most of the line in Orleans County.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced $26.8 million in state funding for 38 rail and aviation safety, security and economic development projects across the state. This funding will generate approximately $36 million in new investments for transportation projects statewide, the governor said.

“New York remains a vital transportation hub, as well as a tourism destination, and this funding will help ensure travel to and in this state is safer, more convenient and more reliable,” Cuomo said. “By investing in our transportation infrastructure, we are making long-term improvements to our rail and aviation systems in order to better serve the people who use them, while also expanding economic opportunities throughout New York.”

An airplane comes in for a landing at Pine Hill Airport in Barre in this photo taken in September 2013. The airport is the only one in Orleans County with a hard-surface runway.

New York approved $17.8 million in funding from the State’s Passenger and Freight Rail Assistance Program to 12 rail projects that will repair and replace 65 miles of track and ties, rehabilitate rail grade crossings and bridges, and construct new connections to improve safety and operations.

The state also approved $9 million to 26 aviation projects through the Governor’s Aviation Capital Grants Program. These investments will enhance airport safety and security, including taxi-lane striping and markings, runway and airfield maintenance, and installation of automatic weather observation stations. Other airport related improvements that will benefit from this funding include the construction and rehabilitation of new and existing airport terminals and aircraft hangars.

The funding allocated today was included in the State’s 2014-15 budget. The projects that received the funding were selected through a competitive solicitation process and rated on established criteria, including project eligibility, consistency with state rail and aviation plans, regional economic benefits, and the ability to leverage additional investments.