AUSTIN – The U.S. Department of Transportation announced that the Texas Department of Transportation has received a $7 million federal grant to help rebuild the Presidio-Ojinaga International Rail Bridge and 72 miles of track on the state-owned South Orient Rail Line that runs from the border to near Coleman, Texas.

Texas Transportation Commission Chairman Tryon Lewis hailed the FASTLANE grant that was announced Thursday as a critical investment in the West Texas oil and gas industry.

“The South Orient Railroad has become an increasingly important freight line for the agriculture and oil and gas industries in West Texas. With the replacement of the rail bridge at Presidio, the improvements to the track, bridges and crossings will allow enhanced freight opportunities for communities in Texas and between Texas and Mexico, with greater efficiency and safety,” Chairman Lewis said.

Lewis thanked members of Congress, the Texas Legislature and the TxDOT staff involved in applying for and attaining the grant and especially the work of U.S. Congressman Will Hurd of San Antonio who was instrumental in obtaining the grant.

“Representative Hurd worked hard on our behalf to support our efforts to be awarded these monies from the USDOT. The improvements we make to the rail line and the reconstruction of the rail bridge will assure we can continue to support the industries in Texas that rely on deliveries provided by the South Orient Railroad,” Lewis said.

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