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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce
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Annual Report

Montana


Program # of Grants EDA Funds
Economic Adjustment Assistance 1 $200,000
Public Works 3 $2,445,007
Disaster Relief 1 $1,000,000
Planning 19 $993,246
Technical Assistance 3 $139,500
Total 27 $4,777,753

During Fiscal Year 2013, EDA invested $4,777,753 in 27 projects in the State of Montana.   These projects are expected to create or retain 176 jobs and leverage $49,320,000 in private investment, according to grantee estimates. EDA’s investments help Montana communities achieve bottom-up, locally-defined economic development goals and strategies.

EDA offers a complementary, balanced portfolio of grant programs designed to help rural and urban communities grow their private sectors and create jobs.

Investment Spotlight: Judith River Trestle Bridge

When severe flooding hit central Montana in 2011, the rising water damaged a quarter-mile long section of Judith River Trestle bridge, leaving the region’s rail line impassable. Built in 1912, the 100 year-old bridge carried a single freight line over the Judith River, providing the only cost-effective means of shipping agricultural products from numerous small communities.  Cattle ranching, wheat farming and hay production provide the primary economic base in the area. Unable to bear the additional costs of transporting by truck after the bridge closure, many producers and the Central Montana Cooperative were unable to transport their products.

In May 2013, EDA awarded $1 million to the State of Montana Department of Transportation to repair the Judith River Trestle Bridge.  This project is part of a $200 million appropriation made by Congress to EDA to help communities that received a major disaster designation in fiscal year 2011 with long-term economic recovery and infrastructure support.

The project supports long-term business development by rebuilding infrastructure needed by small business owners and farmers to bring their goods to market.  According to grantee estimates, reopening the rail link will help more than 1,900 agricultural production businesses located in the three-county area of central Montana remain competitive.  Completion of the project will not only restore service lost to the area, but will also provide more transportation options for freight movement by offering rail service in addition to truck transportation in this central region of Montana.