Port of Oswego receives $192,000 grant for railroad improvements

A ship heads toward the Port of Oswego, a recent recepient of a $192,000 federal grant.  (Photo provided by Flickr)
A ship heads toward the Port of Oswego, a recent recepient of a $192,000 federal grant. (Photo provided by Flickr)

The Port of Oswego Authority has been awarded $192,000 for a project that will include improvement to the port’s railway system, U.S. representatives announced on Tuesday.

U.S. representatives Dan Maffei, D-N.Y., and Richard Hanna, R-N.Y are supporting the port’s application as a potential boon to the Central New York shipping industry and economy. The funds, awarded by the Northern Border Regional Commission, will be used to construct a rail spur and additional rail car storage to help accommodate the demands of increased rail traffic to the port.

The Port of Oswego has seen an increase in popularity in recent years. As the only deep-water port on the U.S. shores of Lake Ontario, the port’s location is accessible from any international port.

These funds come following a $1.5 million competitive grant the Port of Oswego received from the U.S. Department of Transportation in August to add a new rail link.

The aid will help the port to rebuild its rail lines, which date back to 1963.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., was a strong advocate for the port this summer, lobbying for the federal funds by touting the port’s potential economic value for New York state.

Similarly, Maffei and Hanna have noted the economic impact increased funding of the port could have on the state’s economy.

“Investment in our port and local water infrastructure helps create jobs, grow the economy, and strengthen the middle class in Central New York,” Maffei said in a release. “The Port of Oswego is an important economic hub that supports thousands of jobs and many of our local industries.”

Hanna, a representative from the 22nd district, echoed Maffei’s statement, as well as voiced support for future legislation to potentially bolster the port’s infrastructure. The House of Representatives will be voting this week on the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013, which could bring additional aid to the port.

“I’m pleased the Port is receiving these funds to grow its rail capabilities and sustain jobs in our region,” Hanna said in a release. “I look forward to additionally supporting the bipartisan water bill in Congress this week because it will similarly bolster the Port of Oswego, helping our small businesses thrive and compete across the nation and world.”