The association, in a news release Tuesday, announced it made the "difficult decision" to proceed without the federal aid because of the span's deteriorating condition and "the adverse impact a nonfunctioning bridge would have on the nation's economy."
Another factor is the price of steel, which has been rising since President
Raza said the low bidder,
Replacement of the bridge, one of two local spans across the
The freightway serves as a booster organization for the area freight industry.
The bridge work, which will be one of the biggest construction projects in the region, will involve 150 direct jobs, the association said. The total increases to 1,100 jobs if suppliers and other companies related to the project are included.
The association is working with
"This is an infrastructure project with national importance, and we are enthusiastic about its positive impact on local economic development and job creation," said
The bridge, just north of downtown, was built in 1889 and opened in 1890. Now only one train at a time, traveling 5 mph, can cross the span, because of weight and speed restrictions because of the bridge's condition. The new bridge, Raza said, will be wide enough to accommodate two 315,000-pound locomotives.
When finished, the bridge will help relieve river-crossing bottlenecks. But there will be additional delays during construction as trains at times will be rerouted across the
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