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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

Waynesboro, Mississippi Receives U.S. EDA Support for Railroad Redevelopment Study to Boost Exports

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration (EDA) today announced a $50,000 grant to the Rail Authority of East Mississippi of Waynesboro, Miss., to complete an economic feasibility study for the development of a short line railroad in Southeast Mississippi. The study, to be conducted by the East Mississippi Intermodal Rail corridor, will evaluate how the redevelopment and construction of the railroad could make the area more economically competitive and support the growing needs of the Mississippi South Central Region.

"EDA promotes U.S. exports and foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States," said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John R. Fernandez. "This EDA grant funds a study to potentially expand a major rail thoroughfare and increase the transfer of U.S. goods."

"The project will not only benefit the three counties where the new railroad would be physically located, but will open up the entire region of East Mississippi and West Alabama to additional freight rail access with links to the Gulf of Mexico," said Geoffrey Clark, Executive Director of the Rail Authority of East Mississippi.

This EDA project will aim to support the transfer of goods and boost U.S. exports by funding an analysis to determine the economic feasibility for the development of a short line railroad in Southeast Mississippi. The proposed railroad will connect two existing freight railroads in the region, providing two major Gulf of Mexico Ports with direct access to Meridian, Miss., a major rail thoroughfare.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration:

The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.