MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minnesota Department of Transportation says $1.55 million in funding will be used for three rail improvement projects across the state.

The city of Becker received $1 million to add a 7,000-foot rail spur to a new Northern Metal Recycling processing facility; Crookston’s Epitome Energy LLC received $450,000 for new rail infrastructure at a new soybean processing and biodiesel facility; and a $101,139 award will be used by Minnesota Commercial Railway to replace a railroad bridge over Rice Creek in New Brighton.

“These three projects will positively impact local economies and the overall rail system across the state,” said Peter Dahlberg, Office of Freight and Commercial Vehicle Operations.

Nine applications totaling $4.5 million for projects were submitted. Projects were selected based on the impact of state dollars on rail service and economic development, MnDOT said.