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Public invited to learn about passenger-rail improvements coming to Cowlitz County

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Date:  Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Contact: Alice Fiman, WSDOT communications, 360-705-7080 (Olympia)

LONGVIEW – Local citizens are invited to a public meeting Monday, June 17, to learn more about projects that will keep rail passengers and the economy moving.

The improvements known collectively as Kelso Martin’s Bluff will allow Amtrak Cascades trains to move around slower-moving freight trains, maintain speed and arrive at their destinations on time.

The Washington State Department of Transportation and Federal Railroad Administration would like to hear from local residents as they begin assessing the project’s environmental impacts. Project maps and displays will be available and project staff will be on hand to gather feedback.

When: Monday, June 17, from 5 to 7 p.m.
Where: Cowlitz County PUD, 961 12th Ave, Longview, WA 98632

Once complete, the Kelso Martin’s Bluff projects will improve passenger-rail travel with a new rail bridge over the Coweeman River and a third track at both the Longview Junction and Port of Kalama. This will help relieve rail congestion that slows passenger rail service near Kelso and Kalama.

The investment, funded by the Federal Railroad Administration High Speed Intercity
Passenger Rail program, will improve reliability, reduce travel time and allow for more passenger-rail service between Portland, Ore., and Vancouver, B.C.

Washington state received nearly $800 million in federal grants as part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act high-speed-rail program administered by the FRA. The Kelso Martin’s Bluff projects are two of nearly 20 rail-improvement projects that will generate hundreds of jobs and improve Amtrak Cascades service.

For more information about the WSDOT rail program, visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/Rail/Projects.

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WSDOT keeps people, businesses and the economy moving by operating and improving the state's transportation systems. To learn more about what we're doing, go to www.wsdot.wa.gov/news for pictures, videos, news and blogs. Real time traffic information is available at www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic or by dialing 511.


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