FedNor funding was announced today for a 592-metre rail spur linking a north-end industrial park to the Canadian National/Wisconsin Central main line.
When the connection is established to the Odena Industrial Park, the Sault will have two rail yards able to transfer lumber and other forest products between trains and trucks.
The rail link is expected to reduce transportation costs while retaining the flexibility and timeliness of truck haulage.
The following is the full text of an announcement released today by FedNor:
*********************** FedNor funds Sault Ste. Marie railway link
SAULT STE. MARIE, Ontario - Sault Ste. Marie MP, Carmen Provenzano, is pleased to announce, on behalf of the Honourable Andy Mitchell, Secretary of State (Rural Development) (FedNor), FedNor funding of $262,600 to the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation (SSMEDC) towards the development of a rail spur connecting the Odena Industrial Park to the Canadian National/Wisconsin Central main railway line.
"The city's priorities are my priorities," says Mr. Provenzano. "This project was identified as a priority in the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Diversification Strategy," adds Mr. Provenzano.
"Enhanced transportation access to this site will augment the inventory of attractive, serviced industrial land available to companies looking to invest in the community and create jobs."
This project involves construction of a 592-metre rail spur line in the industrial park located in the city's north end, giving Sault Ste. Marie two rail yards with the capability to consolidate, transfer and reload lumber and other forest product shipments between trains and trucks.
The Odena site will provide forestry product shippers the opportunity to reduce transportation costs through the efficiency of long haul rail, while retaining the flexibility and shorter service timeliness of truck haulage.
Increased activity by the forest products industry will make the industrial park more appealing to new national and international businesses.
"This project is an example of how the Government of Canada builds on strengths in the economy," says Mr. Mitchell.
"FedNor continues to contribute to projects that expand Northern Ontario markets, develop stronger economic infrastructure and create higher paying jobs."
FedNor funding will assist with costs related to engineering and design, site preparation, materials and labour.
"With FedNor support, we can further develop and promote available industrial land within the city, as outlined in the Industrial Land Development Program and the Industrial Marketing Strategy," says Bruce Strapp, President and CEO of the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation.
"These are key components of the overall Economic Diversification Strategy for the city and surrounding region."
FedNor works in partnership with Northern Ontario businesses, economic development stakeholders and community organizations to ensure Northerners enjoy full access to the information and services they require to be successful.
By supporting the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation through its programs and services, FedNor is opening doors and building futures for a prosperous Northern Ontario.
Funding for this initiative was provided for in the February 2003 federal budget.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The photo accompanying this article was taken by Hilary Connell, a Sir James Dunn co-operative education student currently on placement at SooToday.com.