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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:
This article first appeared on www.freightwaves.com
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