NORWICH – Work to restore the railroad from Greene to Sherburne must start by June if the county wishes to keep the $4.7 million federal grant that’s fueling the project.
The Chenango County Industrial Development Agency (CCIDA), the developmental arm of Commerce Chenango, was awarded the grant through the Federal Economic Development Administration in 2013. EDA funds will cover approximately 80 percent of the $5.9 million undertaking to restore the north-to-south Utica Main Line. But conditions of the EDA grant stipulate that work should start within three years of issuance or else EDA money will no longer be available.
The 45.5 mile-long section of the railroad spanning Chenango County has been inoperable since being damaged by heavy floods in 2006.
The good news is that the CCIDA is on track to have construction bids in by the end of the month, according to Commerce Chenango President and CEO Steve Craig. Hopes are to have a brunt of the work completed during this year’s construction season.