PISCES II – Summary and Supporting Matierals


The Peru Intermodal, Safety, Congestion, and Energy Security Project, Phase II (PISCES II) is the third in a series of intermodal projects in Peru, IL.  The set of projects collectively referred to herein as “PISCES” began in 2014 with a grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to widen Plank Road between I-80 and the proposed truck to rail Intermodal Facility in Peru.  PISCES Phase I was funded as part of the Illinois Competitive Freight Program using National Highway Freight Program funds announced to 2018.  PISCES I will make capacity improvements to The Peru Industrial Railroad, LLC (PIR).  This grant (PISCES II) provide the capstone to the PISCES initiative by adding additional capacity to the Illinois Railway, LLC (IR) necessary to safely and efficiently haul sand and building materials produced in Peru to the connection with the national rail network at Zearing, IL.

PISCES II will rehabilitate the IR mainline between the BNSF Railway connection at Zearing, IL to the PIR connection near Peru, and on to the yard located south of Peru.  PISCES II will install 20,010 ties and 7 complete switch tie sets, replace 134,202 linear feet of 115# rail, install 7,673 tons of ballast, and 1,650 tons of walking ballast.  PISCES II will keep over 1 million heavy sand, pulp, and commercial trucks off local and national roads by improving a freight rail route to more efficiently handle freight.  The project will improve the competitiveness of Peru, IL and the United States and support our newfound energy independence by providing efficient frac sand transportation.

Table of Appendices

The following appendices were submitted with the project narrative.  The filename and extension, and a brief description, follow below.  The following documents require a username and password to access.  The username and password are provided in the introductory page ii of the Narrative submitted with the SF-424.

  • A. Project Narrative
  • B. Statement of work (.pdf / .docx) – Available in both PDF and MS Word formats
  • C. Benefit-Cost Analysis in MS Excel format
  • D. BCA Explanation – an explanation of the BCA methodology and calculations
  • E. SF-LLL form for Illinois Railway, LLC, a potential sub-awardee
  • F. Budget – Project budget and breakdown of project expenditures by IR milepost or work location
  • G. Letters of Support including letters from:  Illinois DOT Secretary Randall Blankenhorn; United States Senator Richard J. Durbin; United States Senator Tammy Duckworth; Illinois State Senator Sue Rezin (Assistant Senate Republican Leader); Illinois State Representative Jerry Long; Peru Mayor Scott HarlChief Jeff King, Peru Fire Department; Chief Douglas Bernabei, Peru Police; Kevin Lindeman, Executive Director, North Central Illinois Council of Governments; Benjamin J. Brockschmidt, Vice President for Policy, Illinois Chamber of Commerce; Hani S. Mahmassani, Director, The Transportation Center, Northwestern University; Joseph Ciaccio, President, Illinois Railroad Association; Chuck Baker, President, National Railroad Construction & Maintenance Association (NRC); James C. Gauntt, Executive Director, Railway Tie Association; Thomas C. Jagiella, Compliance Manager, James Hardie Building Products; Darek Nowak, Vice President – Midwest Region, Old Dominion Freight Line; Thomas Murphy, General Manager, Peru Industrial Railroad; David Arganbright, Vice President, Illinois Railway, LLC; Hubert Gassner, Chief Financial Officer, OmniTRAX, Inc.
  • H. KMZ GIS File – a kmz format GIS shapefile for use in GIS software or Google Earth applications.
  • I. List of Project Communities – A list of cities, counties, and Congressional Districts within the project area.
  • J. Project Area Map – a PDF map of the project area, communities, rural area, and congressional districts.
  • K. IR Commitment Letter – Illinois Railway, LLC private match funding commitment letter.

Differences between previous or concurrent applications

This application for FY2018 CRISI funds will be the third federal application for the PISCES program of improvements.  This grant was submitted in two forms for FY2017 and FY2018 INFRA funding and FY2017 TIGER funding.  The differences between those applications and this application is highlighted below:

Funding Request/Match:

  • Subsequent to previous submissions, a portion of the scope of work was selected for funding by the Illinois Competitive Freight Program. Those project components have been removed, and engineering cost estimates have been updated.
  • The previous INFRA and TIGER applications requested $9,301,660 (50%) of a $18,603,322 project.
  • This funding round requests $6,081,036 (50%) of a $12,162,072 project from CRISI.

BCA:  Previous applications included extensive road and highway improvements in the budget and cost and benefit calculations.  The PISCES road improvements were funded as a part of PISCES I in the Illinois Competitive Freight Program and those benefits are excluded from this analysis. The BCA also includes the updated cost estimate as described above.

BCA Explanation:  No major changes were made to the rail components of the previous BCA.  However, the BCA Explanation Appendix has been updated to reflect the rail focus of this BCA.

Online Repository:  In addition to being attached in the grants.gov workspace, all supporting documents are also available from an online repository.  Those materials are available at:  http://www.pisces-ii.com/

Note:  Passwords for the online repository are on introductory page ii of the Project Narrative submitted with the SF-424.  The username and password is required to download files from this web page.

Appendix references:  All narrative footnotes and references to supporting materials have been altered to reference the online repository via links to improve digital readability.

Narrative changes:  This narrative remains similar to previous applications with the following additions or alterations:

  • PISCES I vs. PISCES II: Throughout the document references are made to Illinois Competitive Freight Program for PISCES I and its impact on benefits and scope in PISCES II.
  • Project Funding Tables have been updated to reflect a narrower scope of work.
  • Summary tables from the BCA have been added to each benefits description under “Section VIII. Evaluation and Selection Criteria.”
  • An expanded discussion of the interplay between truck and rail and PISCES I and II is provided under Section VIII is provided with regard to “Efficiencies from improved integration with other modes.”
  • A new discussion in Section VIII of the “Ability to meet existing or anticipated demand” is included to address the uncertainty of future traffic projections.
  • The biographies of key team members have been expanded under “Section VIII.B. Technical Merits.”
  • The discussion of ways in which “The project is consistent with guidance and State rail plans under Title 49” has been added as it was not included in previous submissions.
  • The discussion of Risk Management in “Section IX. Project Implementation and Management” has been included to discuss tariff risks to steel prices.