$570 Mln Funding For 63 Projects To Help Reduce Train-Vehicle Collisions In US

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has awarded more than $570 million for 63 projects in 32 states to help reduce train-vehicle collisions and blocked rail crossings in the country.

The Railroad Crossing Elimination (RCE) Grant Program funding aims to help communities eliminate points where railroad tracks intersect with roads, which have blocked vehicle and pedestrian traffic, led to deadly vehicle-rail collisions, and prevented first responders from reaching emergencies.

This inaugural round of funding will address more than 400 at-grade crossings nationwide, improve safety, and make it easier to get around railroad tracks by adding grade separations, closing at-grade crossings, and improving existing at-grade crossings where train tracks and roads intersect.

Last year, there were more than 2,000 highway-rail crossing collisions in the U.S. and more than 30,000 reports of blocked crossings submitted to FRA’s public complaint portal.

“Every year, commuters, residents, and first responders lose valuable time waiting at blocked railroad crossings – and worse, those crossings are too often the site of collisions that could be prevented,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

For years, FRA has received complaints from citizens, states, and localities regarding the delays and disruptions caused by frequently blocked crossings that force residents to wait hours at intersections or take detours. These delays and disruptions can also prevent first responders from getting to emergencies quickly.

The projects selected for funding in the first year of this program will greatly improve the quality of life in communities big and small, creating safer rail crossings and allowing people to get to and from their homes, schools, businesses, hospitals, fire stations, and workplaces without being stranded and delayed by a standing train.

Major projects funded this year include Texas – West Belt Improvement Project (City of Houston), Alabama – Railroad Crossing Elimination on Shelby County Road 52 (City of Pelham); Indiana – Governors Parkway Railroad Overpass Project (City of Hammond); Ohio – Unlocking the Iron Triangle: Grade Separation of S Town Street, Fostoria, Ohio; Florida – Broward County Sealed Corridor Project; Iowa – South Concord Street Grade Separation; and Washington – 32nd Street Underpass Project.

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