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Va. Inland Port in Front Royal to be expanded with $15.5 million federal DOT grant

U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced that the Department of Transportation is awarding the Port of Virginia $15,500,197 to increase terminal capacity at the Virginia Inland Port (VIP) in Front Royal.

The Port of Virginia built the inland port 30 years ago to extend the reach of Virginia’s ports, help distribute commerce among highways and railroads, and spur economic development for the entire region.

The funding provided through the Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) Grant program, formerly known as the TIGER program, will be used to help optimize the flow of traffic inside the port gate through the addition of three long loading tracks, to lengthen existing loading tracks, to purchase two hybrid straddle carriers, and to construct a new highway bridge grade separation.

The improvements will increase the Port’s capacity and its ability to safely handle the largest ships in the Atlantic, according to a news release.

“The Port of Virginia plays a critical role in the economy of the East Coast, and we’re proud to announce these dollars to ensure the entire system, both in Tidewater and in Front Royal, remains strong,” the Senators said.

“The Virginia Inland Port moves goods and materials throughout the region, extending the economic benefits of the Port and helping to keep fewer trucks off of crowded roads like I-81. These funds will allow even more cargo to move through the facility, while also making much-needed safety improvements to support the hard working men and women at the Port.”

Warner and Kaine asked U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao for DOT funding of these improvements. As a direct result of the VIP facility opening in 1989, nearly 40 manufacturing and distribution centers have located in the region, creating roughly 8,000 direct and indirect jobs, the senators’ news release said.

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