Washington (June 7, 2022) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today welcomed US Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo’s announcement that the Department’s Office of Economic Development is providing $2.6 million. grant to Southbridge, Massachusetts to build a railroad in the Quenebau Valley. This grant is funded by the American Plan of Rescue.
This project will support outdoor recreation and develop the local tourism industry by attracting new visitors to the city, its businesses and local attractions. Grantees estimate that this EDA grant will be matched with $1.5 million in local funds and is expected to create 45 jobs, retain 325 jobs, and generate $3.3 million in private investment.
“There is so much to discover in the Commonwealth that this project opens the way for travelers to explore all that the South Bridge has to offer,” said Senator Edward J. Markey. “This multi-million dollar investment in the local tourism industry will help create hundreds of jobs and increase the economic sustainability of the South Bridge.”
“President Biden’s American Rescue Plan provides federal resources to communities to ensure our country not only recovers from the pandemic, but builds a better America for the future.” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This project will promote the development of tourism and outdoor recreation in the South Bridge while ensuring economic stability in the region.”
“The travel and tourism industry is an important part of many local economies across the country” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra I. Castillo.. “This EDA investment in the Southbridge is an excellent opportunity to leverage a regional asset and increase economic resilience in the growing outdoor recreation and tourism industry in the region.”
“This US$2.6 million federal investment will fund the construction of the Queenebou Valley Railroad, which will allow visitors from across Worcester County and the Commonwealth to Southbridge to enjoy the beauty of nature and support our local businesses.” Senator Elizabeth Warren said.
“With the Biden Administration’s commitment to rebuilding our economy and the American Rescue Plan, the city of Southbridge will be able to expand the rail route in the Queenbog Valley,” the statement said. said Congressman Richard E. Neal (MA-01). “Rail routes provide new opportunities for recreation and tourism, safer transport alternatives and improve the quality of life of nearby communities. Thanks to the Economic Development Administration for their continued support of outdoor recreation and congratulations to the city of Southbridge.”
This project is being funded by EDA’s competitive US $240 million rescue plan. Travel, tourism and outdoor recreation program. In 2021, EDA awarded $510 million to all 50 states and territories. These two programs are designed to accelerate the recovery of communities that rely on travel, tourism and outdoor recreation…