SHARE Email Facebook Twitter May 12, 2016 Wolf Administration Announces New Rail Projects That Will Create, Retain 48,000 Jobs Through State Investment Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf Infrastructure, Jobs That Pay, Press Release, Transportation Harrisburg, PA – An estimated 9,200 jobs will be created and more than 39,000 will be retained over the next five years due to thirty-one rail projects being made possible by two PennDOT-managed grant programs.“Pennsylvania has the most railroads in the country and these make up a vital component of our economic and transportation activities,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “These investments underscore our role in supporting jobs and economies across the state.”The State Transportation Commission (STC) voted today to approve $36 million for 15 projects through the Rail Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP) and 16 projects through the Rail Freight Assistance Program (RFAP). RTAP is a capital budget grant program funded with bonds and RFAP is underwritten through the new Multimodal Fund, created by Act 89.Act 89 is a far-reaching transportation program that clears the way for significant investments in all transportation modes.For more information on rail in Pennsylvania visit www.penndot.gov.Follow PennDOT on Twitter at twitter.com/penndotnews, on Instagram at instagram.com/pennsylvaniadot, and “like” the department on Facebook at facebook.com/pennsylvaniadepartmentoftransportation. Following is a by-county list of approved rail freight projects under the programs with the state share:RTAP Projects:Allegheny County:CSX Transportation Inc.– $3 million to construct new main lead track, crossovers, turnouts, and derails to allow intermodal trains to pull off the McKees Rocks mainline to serve the Pittsburgh Intermodal Terminal.Pittsburgh and Ohio Central Railroad — $420,000 to install 2,650 feet of track and one new turnout in the Scully Yard.Union Railroad Company — $3.4 million to repair and rehabilitate the East Pittsburgh Viaduct, including concrete repairs, structure drainage corrections, a 1,600-foot passing siding and adding a new walkway and handrails.Allegheny and Washington Counties:Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway Co. — $1.2 million to install nearly 20 track miles of continuous welded rail on the railway’s Pittsburgh subdivision.Butler County:Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad Inc. — $3.6 million to improve the Butler Yard and shop tracks as well as yard tracks the company leases, as well as restoring a crossover connection and repairing eight bridge structures on its northern subdivision.Carbon County:Reading Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad — $5 million to construct a new bridge across the Lehigh River and approximately 1,200 feet of new track related to the construction of the new bridge.Centre, Columbia, Lycoming and Northumberland Counties:SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority — $3.5 million to upgrade five bridges and replace one bridge.Chester County:East Penn Railroad LLC — $665,000 for turnouts, rail, ties, resurfacing and rebuilding a 2,000-foot siding, as well as replacing 3,800 mainline ties, 110 mainline switch timbers, surfacing five mainline turnouts and 18,750 feet of mainline track.Dauphin County:Steelton and Highspire Railroad — $2 million to construct and rehabilitate 13,026 track feet and 22 turnouts serving the Durabond pipe plant, Chemtron weld plant, Arcelor-Mittal’s interchange loading area, and connecting track to Norfolk Southern’s interchange as well as Steelton & Highspire Railroad’s main yard.Fayette County:D&I Silica — $1.3 million to extend the switching lead track and two unloading pit yard tracks, replace track and relocate a turnout to create a yard for operational flexibility.Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad Company — $2 million to install five yard tracks, and a runaround track to improve Bowest Yard.Lackawanna County:Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority — $630,000 to install 9,000 new ties on the Carbondale mainline track.McKean County:American Refining Group Inc. — $1.6 million to construct 50 feet of track, rehabilitate 1,400 feet of track, one turnout and two crossings, as well as modify six existing loading tracks.Western New York PA Railroad Company LLC — $500,000 to install 7,500 crossties, reconstruct two crossings, and track surfacing.Westmoreland County:Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation – Nearly $1.1 million to replace existing rail and steel components on the Radebaugh Subdivision Rail Relay.RFAP Projects:Allegheny County:Leetsdale Industrial Corporation — $299,862 to construct two new spurs and raise, line and surface track.Beaver County:Middleton Properties West LLC — $633,711 to rehabilitate 4,800 feet of track and construct 2,700 feet of new track.Pennsylvania Southwestern Railroad — $535,610 to rehabilitate five tracks, a pit track and a turnout.Berks, Lancaster and York Counties:East Penn Railroad LLC — $560,000 to rehabilitate the Lancaster Northern and York Line, including tie replacement and resurfacing.Blair County:The Everett Railroad Company — $360,150 to replace 4,000 linear feet of rail, 1,200 ties, one public grade crossing and surface two miles of track.Bradford and Wyoming Counties:Lehigh Railway LLC — $292,713 to install a runaround track at ROCK station and install five rail flange lubricators along Lehigh Railway’s mainline.Centre County:SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority — $298,232 to rehabilitate the Robinson Lane track including replacing one turnout, installing culvert boxes and drainage pipes, surfacing, as well as deck timber and bridge planking deck replacement.Delaware County:Consolidated Rail Corporation — $259,748 to replace three existing railroad diamonds.Lackawanna County:Kane Warehousing Inc. — $227,500 to construct a 1,000-foot track spur and one turnout.Lackawanna and Wayne Counties:The Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad Company Inc. — $690,900 to repair the Delaware-Lackawanna railroad bridge over the west branch of the Lehigh River, including wingwall and backwall restoration, bridge seat cleaning, resurfacing and re-establishment of original bridge elevation.Lancaster County:Alumax Mill Products Inc. — $250,000 to construct a 1,500-foot double rail spur including two new turnouts.Mercer County:Wheatland Tube Company — $262,500 to construct two industrial spur tracks, two turnouts and a loading/unloading pad.Montgomery County:Mittal Steel USA Railways Inc. — $312,550 to repair a 310-foot stone masonry retaining wall, improve 1,085 feet of track and install two turnouts.Schuylkill County:Reading Anthracite Company — $700,000 to reconstruct grade crossings and improve drainage.Union County:Lewisburg & Buffalo Creek Railroad Corporation — $217,000 to repair a stone masonry box culvert and install a 60-inch steel pipe south of the existing structure.Westmoreland County:Three Rivers Marine Rail Terminal LP — $133,945 to rehabilitate mainline track including replacing crossties, bolts and bridge timber, surfacing and installing ballast.
Here we are, in the second week of May. School is wrapping up, the NBA playoffs are in full swing, there was a hugely publicized title fight and a Triple Crown horse race this past weekend, my own Milwaukee Brewers currently sport the best record in baseball, and as I sit here typing, it is approximately 438 degrees in the Badger Herald office. So the only logical thing to write about is … college basketball? Yup, although we may still be a full five months from the kicking off of the first Midnight Madness festivities, college basketball is still a hot topic, so to speak. Call it May Madness maybe. Bo Ryan may not be holding practice in the Nicholas Johnson Pavilion, but the Wisconsin basketball program has been active nonetheless.The recent announcement by Ohio prep star Charles Wilson that he intends to commit to Wisconsin during this fall’s early signing period was a huge win for the Badger program.Wilson may not have been a huge name in the national recruiting scene — yet — but the athletic swingman was quickly emerging as a big time prospect after a great showing at the King James Shooting Star Classic AAU tournament. Following the tournament, college basketball’s elite were lined up to give Wilson their sales pitches, assuring his arrival on the national stage. Despite the likes of Iowa, Virginia Tech, Xavier and two-time national champion Florida all reportedly offering him scholarships, after his showing, Wilson chose Wisconsin. In one respect, Wilson’s commitment is nothing more than a rising recruit committing to the class of 2008 — a testament to Wisconsin assistant coach Greg Gard’s ability to find talent before it blooms. In another way, however, Wilson’s commitment is much more meaningful. It shows that even in the face of a scholarship offer from one of the nation’s pre-eminent programs, the UW program and its coaches held up. Also, and in my opinion most importantly, Wisconsin went into a fellow Big Ten power’s backyard and stole a rising talent out from under the noses of Thad Matta and Ohio State — a recruiting blow in a league where protecting one’s own turf is essential.With Tubby Smith taking over at Minnesota, recruiting in that state — a recent hotbed for UW recruiting — will likely become much more difficult, so it is essential for Ryan’s staff to diversify its recruiting area. If UW is able to establish a road into Ohio talent, it could be a big blow in what could end up being a major rivalry in the Big Ten for the coming years.Coming off a season in which the UW and OSU played two absolutely classic games, one of which was a historic one-on-one matchup, and were among the nation’s elite all season, the two teams are in position to establish a long-term rivalry.Between Matta’s ability to lure top high school talent to Columbus and Ryan’s proven system of churning out 20-win basketball teams, both squads will be at the top of the Big Ten for the foreseeable future. Aside from both being power programs, the two teams are different in enough significant ways to make it a bona fide rivalry. While Ryan and Matta are similar in their tenacious drive for victory, they are completely different in other respects. Matta is everything Ryan never was: a wildly popular young coach who got a chance at a major Division I program. Besides his inability to keep his gum in his mouth and off of the floor (You think Bo would ever let his Quench gum hit the hardwood?), Matta also likes to play a more fast-paced game, while Bo likes to run his swing offense and patiently work for the best shot possible.With the new NBA draft eligibility rules, Matta appears ready to implement a strategy of targeting high school All-Americans likely to stay only one productive year before bolting to the NBA, where Ryan goes after players who will grow and mature over three or four years in his system.The first chapter in this diametric relationship was written last year, as their two matchups were painted as youthful talent versus experience. While both sides lost key players from last season — Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr. for OSU, Alando Tucker and Kammron Taylor for UW — Wisconsin and Ohio State, Ryan and Matta, should be a marquee matchup for years to come. Ben is a sophomore majoring in political science. Even though it’s summer, he’s still thinking hoops. Talk sports or send him good YouTube clips this summer at firstname.lastname@example.org