The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has awarded $59 million in safety grants to help secure railway crossings in California, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania. The grants are made possible by the FHWA’s Commuter Authority Rail Safety Improvement (CARSI) program.
Grants for the five rail safety projects will be used to make highway-rail crossings safer in communities across the United States, including:
- Ventura County, California: The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA), operator of Metrolink, will receive a $12.5 million grant to bring three high-volume at-grade highway-railway crossings in Ventura County up to current SCRAA Grade Crossing Safety Standards and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The project will improve safety for drivers by adding protective devices, wider medians and modified crossing warning systems, and improve safety for pedestrians by adding emergency swing gates and right-of-way fencing.
- Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties in Florida: The Southern Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) will receive a $12.9 million grant to modernize 25 rail crossings on its Tri-Rail commuter rail line in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties. The project will upgrade LED lights and update signal houses, gate mechanisms, cantilevers, and light assemblies.
- Dutchess, Nassau, Putnam and Suffolk Counties in New York: The New York State Department of Transportation (NYDOT) and the Metro North Railroad (MNR) will receive a $4.4 million grant to make accessibility improvements for pedestrians and warning systems upgrades and to implement other safety improvements at five grade crossings located in Dutchess and Putnam Counties on the MNR’s Hudson and Harlem Lines, which have substantial train volumes. Additionally, NYDOT and the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) will receive a $14.9 million grant for work on nine grade crossings located in Nassau and Suffolk Counties on the LIRR’s Central, Main Line and West Hempstead Branches, including interconnection to traffic signal systems, updates to railroad flashing light signals, installation of audible warning devices, enhanced pedestrian treatments and pathways, signs and pavement markings for vehicles approaching the grade crossing and roadway resurfacing and sidewalk expansion.
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) will receive a $15 million grant to install gates, add pavement markings and make other improvements at 22 highway-railway grade crossings in Philadelphia and in Bucks, Delaware and Montgomery Counties on its regional commuter rail system which shares significant trackage with freight carriers.
The grants aim to reduce safety risks where railways, roadways and walkways intersect. "These grants show how multi-modal coordination and investment will improve safety for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians traveling where roads and railways intersect," said Acting Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack. "By making these resources available, we can help commuter rail operators mitigate the risks."