ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Transportation completed its first Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement (CRISI) Grant project this month, which included upgrades along 138 miles of the Heart of Georgia (HOG) Railroad from Vidalia to Preston.

The Federal Railroad Administration awarded $2 million in competitive CRISI Grant program funding in 2018 to go toward track and rail bridge upgrades, accommodations to support 286,000-pound rail cars and elimination of slow orders on portions of the track. Georgia DOT contributed an additional $2 million in bond funds toward this portion of the project. Construction began in July 2020.

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