Port of Longview Industrial Rail Corridor Expansion (IRCE) Project
The Port of Longview (Port) is a deep-draft, full-service port operating in Washington on the Columbia River approximately 66 miles upstream from the Pacific Ocean. The Port’s eight marine terminals handle a variety of cargo, including dry bulk materials (e.g., grain, minerals, agricultural products), break-bulk commodities (e.g., steel, construction materials, pulp, paper products), and both general and specialty cargos (e.g., wind energy components, oversize industrial components). Rail service to the Port is currently provided primarily via the Port’s industrial Rail Corridor (IRC).
Currently, the IRC consists of a two-track rail line that was constructed in 2004 to provide a direct connection between the Port’s existing marine terminals and the Class I mainline rail line that runs between Seattle and Portland. The IRC is connected to the Class I mainline rail via the Longview Switching Yard and extends through existing industrial areas that include Port-owned lands and both private and publicly owned lands.
The Port’s Proposed Action, the IRCE Project, involves expanding the existing IRC to provide improved rail service to the Port’s marine terminals. The IRCE Project includes:
- construction of a six-track rail embankment adjacent to the current two-track rail corridor;
- lengthening of the existing two tracks by 1,000 feet for a total of 8,500 feet; and
- construction of two new 8,500-foot rail tracks.
Additionally, construction will include new stormwater conveyance and treatment facilities, track operation systems, lighting, utility improvements, and rail crew support facilities.
The Port received Federal funding to implement the IRCE Project, which requires review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Federal funding awarded to the Port for the IRCE Project includes a USDOT grant under the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program and congressionally directed Fiscal Year 2022 Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program funds.
The Port has also been awarded a Federal Highway Administration grant under the National Highway Freight Program (NHFP). MARAD is administering the RAISE and NHFP grants, which will be used to fund engineering design and construction of the IRCE Project. FRA is administering the CRISI grant, which will be used for property acquisition to support the IRCE Project.
The Port, in coordination with the Maritime Administration (MARAD), prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the IRCE Project to evaluate potential impacts to the human and natural environment, in accordance with NEPA. MARAD is the lead Federal agency for the oversight of the NEPA process for the IRCE Project. FRA is a cooperating agency in the development of the EA.
The EA is available for public inspection at the Port’s ICRE Project webpage. The 30-day notice of availability period begins July 21, 2023, through August 22, 2023. Public comments should be submitted to MARAD, using the State Environmental Policy Act Comment Form.
FRA Points of Contact
Mequela Moreno, Environmental Protection Specialist
USDOT Federal Railroad Administration
RRD-30 Office Environmental Program Management
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