$10M allocated for Coos Bay rail line

EUGENE, Ore. — The Oregon Legislature has allocated $10 million for work on the Coos Bay rail line, the link between the coast and the Willamette Valley that fell into disrepair several years ago.

The Port of Coos Bay bought the line in 2009 after the previous owner — an investment firm — terminated service. The port has spent nearly $31 million to rehabilitate the neglected line.

State Rep. Caddy McKeown, D-Coos Bay, said the additional money from the state will go toward repairs on bridges, and help the port meet new load-rating requirements set by the Federal Railroad Administration.

Port spokeswoman Elise Hammer told The Register-Guard that engineers have identified $25 million to $30 million in bridge repairs needed within the next two to three years. There are 118 bridges on the 134-mile rail line.

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