The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has awarded an Illinois Competitive Freight Program (ICFP) grant to the City of Peru, Ill. and OmniTRAX, Inc.-managed Peru Industrial Railroad (PIR) to help fund the Peru Intermodal, Safety, Congestion and Energy Security Project (PISCES). The funds will be used to improve the PIR, which operates a small but vital three miles of track, providing switching services for the Peru Industrial Park, part of the City of Peru Enterprise Zone. PIR interchanges with OmniTRAX-managed Illinois Railway and BNSF.
PISCES is expected to cost of $4.4 million, based on engineering plans and design work undertaken by the City of Peru and OmniTRAX. The ICFP funds will cover 60% of project costs; OmniTRAX and the City of Peru will cover the remaining 40%.
Administered by IDOT using federal funds, the ICFP is designed to implement the goals of the Illinois State Freight Plan “to improve safety, boost efficiency and grow the economy.” PISCES was the only railroad project selected to receive funding from IDOT’s flow-down money created by the reauthorization of the National Highway Freight Program.
“We have been working closely with the City of Peru for several months to ensure the project meets everyone’s goals of a safer rail line that is positioned to grow in support of the local economy,” said OmniTRAX CEO Kevin Shuba. “We appreciate the efforts of Mayor Scott Harl and his team and look forward to making this project a reality that will dramatically improve the community,”
“The City of Peru is committed to building public-private partnerships that benefit our region, and the investment we’re making with the Peru Industrial Railroad is a great example of that,” said Harl. “When complete, this project will make it safer and easier for companies to do business in and around the City of Peru.”