Little Rock Port Gets $5.6M Federal Grant for Rail Improvements

Little Rock Port Gets $5.6M Federal Grant for Rail Improvements
Bryan Day, executive director of the Little Rock Port Authority (Karen E. Segrave)

The Federal Railroad Administration has awarded a $5.6 million grant to the Little Rock Port to improve rail infrastructure and strengthen the state's supply chain.

The funds will be used to add 11,215 feet of track at the Slackwater Harbor siding and North Marshaling Yard tracks, the administration said in a news release. It will also be used to construct an engine maintenance facility.

The engine maintenance facility will allow the storage and service of two locomotives with room for two additional locomotives in the future. It will include an inspection pit and support offices.

The Little Rock Port will provide a 25% match for the project, which is expected to increase capacity and improve efficiency. The funding is part of the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements program, which is providing grants for 46 projects in 32 states to modernize rail across rural and urban communities.

Meanwhile, the Little Rock Port is planning for growth. W&W/AFCO Steel plans to invest $18.7 million to expand operations at the site, Synthesia Technology has announced a $30 million chemical plant and the composite decking company Trex is building a $400 million plant. 

In December, the port received a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to restore and expand barge capacity.

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