Merkley, Wyden Praise $13.5 Million Grant to Restore Coos Bay Rail Line and Create Jobs in Southwest Oregon

Portland, OR – Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden issued the following statements Friday following the announcement that the U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded the Port of Coos Bay with a $13.5 million grant to fully repair the Coos Bay rail line. 

“Today we’re celebrating a huge win for the Port of Coos Bay and businesses in Southwest Oregon,” Merkley said.  “Fully repairing the Coos Bay rail line will create jobs and give area businesses the chance to grow and thrive.  I want to thank Representative DeFazio, Governor Kulongoski, and Senator Wyden for their tireless efforts in preserving this vital transportation link.  It was a herculean task that required cooperation from community leaders, business owners, and local, state, and federal officials.  The outstanding result of their efforts speaks volumes about the tenacity and dedication of Southwest Oregon.   Reliable infrastructure is essential for economic success.  I have no doubt that the rehabilitated rail line will contribute to a bright future for Coos Bay and all of Southwest Oregon.”

“Rebuilding the Coos Bay Rail Line will help rebuild the economy in every community it touches. When CORP said this rail line and this community were worth nothing more than scrap metal, we said no. I’m proud to have led the fight that, with today’s announcement, proves the Department of Transportation agrees with us,” said Wyden.  “It’s another sign that Oregon is ready, willing and able to help businesses thrive throughout the state.”