Work is set to begin this week on rail lines in western Kansas that carry Amtrak's Southwest Chief. Portions of that track, plus segments in southeastern Colorado, were the target of a federal transportation grant awarded last year to help repair and upgrade freight lines to passenger rail speeds. And, Colorado's Steel City is getting a boost from the work.
In a parking lot near Pueblo's Steelworks Museum, County Commissioner Sal Pace announced the EVRAZ mill will supply 11,000 tons of steel to help improve the passenger rail line. Pace estimates the price tag to be at least eight million dollars, which he calls a shot in the arm to the local economy.
"And proof that rail, and investing in our infrastructure and investing in our future transportation needs are truly economic drivers, and in this case, economic drivers right here in Pueblo, Colorado," said Pace.
Pueblo County put forward $100,000 toward last year's successful federal transportation grant. Other communities and groups in Colorado also committed funds.
Officials are still waiting word on this year's grant application, which included commitments from the states of Colorado, New Mexico, and Kansas.