(Left to right) Will Resch; Cathy Hale, CEO, Madison Railroad; Ann Suchocki, chairperson, City of Madison Port Authority; Rep. Greg Pence; Dave Cheatham, former state representative; Mayor Mike Ochs, North Vernon; Tom Solomon, City of Madison Port Authority.
(Left to right) Will Resch; Cathy Hale, CEO, Madison Railroad; Ann Suchocki, chairperson, City of Madison Port Authority; Rep. Greg Pence; Dave Cheatham, former state representative; Mayor Mike Ochs, North Vernon; Tom Solomon, City of Madison Port Authority.
COLUMBUS— A grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to update the aging Graham Creek Bridge will rehabilitate the 140-year-old structure, which connects Jefferson and Jennings counties in Indiana’s 6th District.

U.S. Rep. Greg Pence, who is the 6th District congressman, hailed the grant award, which became known at the end of last week.

Rep. Pence and Sen. Todd Young earlier this year urged the department to support funding of the project.

“I visited the Graham Creek Bridge before my election, where I met with the leadership of Madison and North Vernon to study this issue,” Rep. Pence said. “Replacement of this bridge will benefit southeast Indiana by removing a potential safety risk, creating new jobs and economic opportunity for Hoosiers.

“As a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, I understand the vital role freight rail plays in getting Hoosier-made and Hoosier-grown products to market,” Pence added.

“This is something we’ve been discussing with Mayor Ochs of North Vernon, Mayor Welch of Madison, and Madison Railroad for quite some time.”

Cathy Hale, CEO of Madison Railroad, echoed those comments.

“The City of Madison Port Authority is elated at the news of the $4.2M CRISI grant awarded for the Graham Creek Bridge. We are humbled by the support we have received from Congressman Greg Pence,” Hale said.

“Congressman Pence took the time to come and visit the aging bridge and see the issues first-hand, then presented a speech on the House floor urging his fellow members to support our project.

“It has truly been a pleasure working with all involved to bring our grant to fruition. The new bridge is imperative to the future of Madison Railroad.”

Short line freight rail makes up nearly 30 percent of freight rail, allowing rural communities like those across Indiana’s 6th District to play a role in the state economy.