FRA announce Railroad Crossing Elimination funding for 63 Projects
Posted: 6 June 2023 | Elliot Robinson (Editorial Assistant - Global Railway Review) | No comments yet
FRA have awarded more than $570 million in funding to 63 projects in 32 states as part of the Railroad Crossing Elimination Grant Programme.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has announced that it has awarded more than $570 million in Railroad Crossing Elimination (RCE) Grant Programme funding to projects in 32 states. 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.
Preventing blocked crossings and collisions is one of many ways President Biden’s Investing in America agenda will make a difference in people’s everyday lives by improving safety and convenience and creating good-paying jobs to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure. 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,” Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Transportation Secretary, said. “As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, we’re improving rail crossings in communities across the country to save lives, time, and resources for American families.”
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. Further, over 2,000 collisions occur every year at highway-rail grade crossings. The projects selected for funding in the first year of this programme 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.
“The Railroad Crossing Elimination Grant Programme is another critical tool that FRA is using to make a lasting impact on the safety and transportation needs of communities nationwide,” Amit Bose, FRA Administrator, said. “With these project selections and the many more that are to come, we will save lives and reshape infrastructure in ways that allow individuals to move through their neighbourhoods seamlessly and safely.”
Along with projects that build or upgrade physical infrastructure at railroad crossings, FRA awarded $15.7 million for planning activities and $33.1 million for project development and design activities that will build a pipeline of projects for future funding. 22% of all funding, $127.5 million, was awarded to projects in rural areas or on Tribal lands.
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