PIERRE, S.D.(KCCR) -A bill to provide matching grant money to the Rapid City, Pierre and Eastern Railroad for upgrades to tracks, trestles and bridges from west of Fort Pierre through Midland is on its way for future consideration by the Joint Committee on Appropriations. Jerry Vest, Assistant Vice Preisdent with the R-C-P and E says major West River industries could suffer without improvements.
Vest says matching money from the state will help the prospects of receiving federal grant money for the project.
The improvements would increase the weight capacity and the speed from 10 to 25 miles per hour. Anna Hayes with Elevate Rapid City says the rail line is essential to West River economic growth.
The only opposition came from the Bureau of Finance and Management who says the six-million dollars requested in the Senate Bill 93 was not included in Governor Kristi Noem’s budget proposal. The measure cleared the Senate Transportation Committee on a 5-0 vote.