WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) released the following statement after Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has approved $6 million in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant funding for two South Dakota rail projects. Thune led the South Dakota congressional delegation in writing to Secretary Foxx in June and Thune followed up last month to underscore the impact that the federal funding would have when it comes to key upgrades to rail infrastructure in South Dakota.
The South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) and Rapid City, Pierre, and Eastern (RCP&E) Railroad partnered together in this joint project by committing $6.4 million in investments. Along with the state and private funding, the TIGER grant will provide for a total of $12.4 million that will be used for a new track siding near Philip, South Dakota, and much-needed track upgrades near Huron, South Dakota.
“I applaud Secretary Foxx’s decision to approve these important rail projects, which will help increase network capacity and fluidity across our region,” said Thune. “This funding, matched with the funds that SDDOT and RCP&E have already committed, will help ensure these important upgrades can begin without delay. These improvements will not only support job creation in the region, but they will attract future business development as well.”
Thune is the chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, which has jurisdiction over the DOT and freight railroad matters. Thune also serves on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee. Both committees underscore the critical importance that the agriculture sector has in South Dakota’s economy, and in particular, how vital rail service is when it comes to getting raw goods and commodities to markets across the United States and all over the world.