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U.S. Transportation Secretary Announces Funding For Grade Crossing Hazard Elimination Programs In Designated High-Speed Rail Corridors




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American Government Topics:  Rodney E. Slater

U.S. Transportation Secretary Announces Funding For Grade Crossing Hazard Elimination Programs In Designated High-Speed Rail Corridors

Federal Railroad Administration
May 12, 2000

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 12, 2000
Contacts: FRA, Pamela Barry, 202-493-6024
FHWA, TaMara McCrae, 202-366-0660
FRA 11-00

U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater today announced financial assistance grants totaling $5.3 million to five federally-designated high-speed rail corridors to eliminate hazards at public and private highway-rail grade crossings.

"These funds continue our commitment to enhance the safety of high-speed rail in America by eliminating hazards at highway-rail grade crossings," Secretary Slater said. "This effort supports safety, which is President Clinton and Vice President Gore’s highest transportation priority."

All public and private highway-rail grade crossings in designated corridors are eligible for funding which may be spent on closing crossings; consolidating or separating grade crossings; installing or upgrading warning devices; improving track circuitry, crossing surfaces, crossing sight distances or illumination; installing advanced train control or traffic control systems; and other related project development, analysis and engineering activities. The federal share of costs for improvements funded under the hazard elimination program may be up to 100 percent of the total engineering and construction costs.

Fiscal 2000 apportionments to five designated corridors are as follows:

The funds will be used with other federal and state grade crossing funding to safely accelerate the implementation of high-speed rail in the designated high-speed rail corridors.

"We are all working to make this nation’s high-speed rail the safest in the world," said Federal Railroad Administrator Jolene M. Molitoris. "These FHWA funds will help to improve the safety for both rail and highway users in each high-speed rail corridor across the country."

The program is managed jointly by the Federal Railroad Administration and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), both agencies of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Since the enactment of the Highway-Railroad Grade Crossing Program in 1973, highway-rail grade crossing fatalities have declined at public crossings from 1,185 in 1973 to 399 in 1999, representing a 66.3 percent decline in fatalities since the program began.

The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) expanded the highway-rail grade crossing hazard elimination program originated under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA).


Funding for Grade Crossing Hazard Elimination
FY 2000

 

Corridor

 

State

 

Funding

 

Purpose

 

Pacific Northwest

 

Washington

 

750,000

 

Conduct the planning and engineering for a rail safety and access plan for the city of Bellingham, and a comprehensive planning effort to consolidate crossings in Marysville. Also, improve one grade crossing in Puyallup and install median barriers at nine crossings in the corridor.
 

Oregon



500,000
Upgrade circuitry at nine grade crossings in Linn and Multnomah counties to support higher train speeds.
 

Chicago Hub

 

Wisconsin

 

1,000,000

Upgrade track circuitry at two crossings in Kenosha County and upgrade 16 crossings in Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties.
 

Gulf Coast

 

Louisiana

 

350,000

Upgrade the Louisa Street crossing on the CSX route in New Orleans, a complicated design with nearby traffic signals and ramps. Also supplement the funding for the two FY 99 projects.
 

 

 

Mississippi

 

320,000

Supplement funding for two projects in Gulfport and Long Beach approved in FY 99, and close one private crossing and construct an access road in Harrison County.
 

 

 

Alabama

 

330,000

Upgrade four crossings, two in Baldwin county and two in Mobile County.
 

Southeast

 

North Carolina

 

750,000

Upgrade crossing inventory, install four 4-quad gates, 5 long gate arms, and 2 median barriers.
 

 

 

Virginia

 

750,000

Upgrade 21 crossings (5 private), including two pedestrian grade separations, one in Prince William County for which design is complete.
 

Empire

 

New York

 

500,000

Complete preliminary engineering and design for closing 6 crossings, constructing 3 grade separations and one pedestrian bridge.
 

Total

 

 

 

5,250,000

 

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