HARRISBURG – State Rep. Camille “Bud” George, D-74 of Clearfield County, said a $591,879 Rail Freight Assistance Program grant approved for the Clearfield Foundation for rail upgrades at the Clearfield Firemen’s Commerce Park will provide immediate and long-term benefits for the area’s economic resurgence.
“The grant, combined with the local match of more than a quarter of a million dollars, will enable a major upgrade at Commerce Park, improving its status as the economic hub of the region,” George said. “It also is the icing on the cake for plans by HRI Inc. to build a $10 million asphalt-emulsion plant at the Lawrence Township site.”
Under the project, 1,300 feet of new track will be built along with new grading, siding and rail-support features. Existing R.J. Corman track already serving Firemen’s Commerce Park also will be upgraded with new ties, tracks and turnouts.
Last month, John Kulka, president of HRI Inc., said the firm plans to build the facility to manufacture custom-blended asphalt emulsions to match highway construction and roadway maintenance needs. The new facility will work in tandem with the HRI plant currently producing emulsion products along Barrett Road in Bradford Township.
In July, the State College-based firm purchased almost 19 acres in the park’s South Parcel for the project. Officials noted that the rail access to be made possible by the grant will remove hundreds of trucks laden with potentially dangerous materials from the highways.
“The grant will further the park’s evolution from a former strip-mined eyesore to a state-of-the-art site for business and industry,” George said. “I congratulate the Clearfield Foundation, HRI and R.J. Corman for their efforts in bringing about this upgrade.”