Wyden, Merkley, DeFazio: Coos Bay Rail Line Secures $9.9 Million Federal Grant for Improvements

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio today announced the Coos Bay Rail Line has secured a $9.9 million federal grant to rehabilitate and replace ties and resurface track along the 121 miles of track from Coos Bay to Eugene.

“The Coos Bay Rail Line plays a crucial role in supporting a robust economy that generates jobs on the South Coast and southern Oregon,” Wyden said. “I’m glad the rail line has earned this key investment to make needed improvements. And I’ll keep fighting for similar investments throughout Oregon in infrastructure, which takes on magnified importance when Oregonians are working hard to weather the economic fallout of this public health crisis.”

“Now more than ever, between the blazes and hazardous smoke of this year’s wildfires and the massive impacts of the coronavirus, our communities need a strong economic foundation for the future,” said Merkley. “And as we build that foundation, transportation infrastructure that puts goods within reach for more Oregonians and helps our small businesses get their products where they need to go must be a priority. This investment in the Coos Bay Rail Line will create jobs, support local businesses, and reconnect our communities after this pandemic is over—and I’ll keep working to secure similar resources for every corner of our state.”

“The Coos Bay Rail Line is a vital connection between Oregon’s natural resource economy and the world market, which is why I have fought to bring more than $40 million in infrastructure investments to this line,” said DeFazio. “Federal investment in critical local infrastructure like the CBRL is essential to preserving and promoting Southwest Oregon’s economic viability, and I’m proud to have secured this funding to help keep this vital rail line moving.”

The $9.9 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant would go toward replacing 67,000 crossties and resurfacing main line, sidings, an industrial lead, rail yard and spur tracks with ballast along the line.

“The support of our delegation in Washington through Senators Wyden and Merkley and Representative DeFazio was critical to the Port receiving the PIDP grant,” said John Burns, Port of Coos Bay CEO.  “Their continued efforts, support, and advocacy have been paramount to the CBRL’s improvement and success.”