• ITVI.USA
    11,356.060
    -93.440
    -0.8%
  • OTLT.USA
    3.402
    -0.114
    -3.2%
  • OTRI.USA
    19.850
    -0.230
    -1.1%
  • OTVI.USA
    11,341.490
    -88.140
    -0.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.960
    0.380
    14.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.710
    0.160
    4.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.290
    -0.010
    -0.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.720
    0.010
    0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.240
    0.100
    4.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.160
    0.060
    1.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    132.000
    -5.000
    -3.6%
  • ITVI.USA
    11,356.060
    -93.440
    -0.8%
  • OTLT.USA
    3.402
    -0.114
    -3.2%
  • OTRI.USA
    19.850
    -0.230
    -1.1%
  • OTVI.USA
    11,341.490
    -88.140
    -0.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.960
    0.380
    14.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.710
    0.160
    4.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.290
    -0.010
    -0.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.720
    0.010
    0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.240
    0.100
    4.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.160
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  • WAIT.USA
    132.000
    -5.000
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NewsRail

DOT awards $40 million in highway-railway crossing grants

Grants target commuter rail jurisdictions with accident-prone intersections

The U.S. Department of Transportation is awarding $40 million in grants to projects that improve highway-railway crossings.

Although the grants are for commuter rail authorities in California, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, they could affect freight transportation flows in the region. Each of these commuting authorities has experienced at least one accident between Jan. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2018, that was investigated by the National Safety Transportation Board. 

Grant funding comes from the Commuter Authority Rail Safety Improvement grants program that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) awards for projects that “separate or protect grades at crossings; rebuild existing railroad grade crossing structures; relocate highways to eliminate grade crossings; and eliminate hazards posed by blocked grade crossings due to idling trains.”

FHWA awarded the grants in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration and the Federal Transit Administration.

According to DOT, incidents at highway-railway crossings across the U.S. rose by 6.3% between 2010 and 2019, while fatalities increased by 10.1% over the same time frame. Injuries have fallen by 10.5%.

“Separation or protection of grades at crossings will not only improve and ensure the safety of rail passengers, pedestrians and motorists but will also keep rail moving on time,” said Federal Railroad Administrator Ronald Batory.

The projects receiving grants include:

  • Metrolink operator Southern California Regional Rail Authority will receive $14.8 million to improve safety at Tyler Avenue and at Cogswell Road in the city of El Monte in Los Angeles County by bringing at-grade highway-rail crossings up to current standards and adding pedestrian gates and right-of-way fencing.
  • Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority will receive $1 million to relocate and reconstruct an existing transit station platform along a single track to eliminate delays at the station located on State Route 92 (Middlesex Avenue) in the town of Wilmington.
  • New York State Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Metro North Railroad (MNR) will receive $19.7 million to improve safety at nine crossings along the MNR Harlem Line in Winchester, Dutchess and Putnam counties by upgrading or replacing existing at-grade crossing warning systems and reconstructing railroad crossing structures and approaches currently in place.
  • Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority will receive $3.3 million for its regional rail grade crossing safety enhancements program to install new gate systems at three crossings and pavement markings at 20 crossing locations in Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.
  • Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority will receive $1.4 million to install new crossing gate arms, pedestrian signals, elevated concrete pedestrian pads and detectable warning devices and improve flashing-light signals at Seventh Street Northwest and Fifth Street Northwest in Puyallup.

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Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Joanna Marsh.

Related articles:

Nebraska officials want answers on blocked rail crossings

Highway-rail grade crossings get attention in infrastructure bill

US lawmakers urged to address blocked grade crossings

Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily.

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