The U.S. Department of Transportation issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) announcing more than $573 million in available grant funding this year alone for the Railroad Crossing Elimination Program.
The new competitive discretionary grant program — which will help improve safety, eliminate lengthy delays at railroad crossings in communities across the country, and ultimately lower the costs of transporting goods, making them more affordable for American families — was created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and will be administered by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). At least 20% of available funding will go to rural and Tribal areas.
Incidents last week in Missouri and California have underscored the tragic consequences of collisions between trains and vehicles that occur throughout the country. In 2021, there were approximately 2,148 grade crossing incidents, resulting in 236 deaths and 662 injuries.
“The Railroad Crossing Elimination Program will make many grade crossings safer or eliminate them altogether in the coming years,” said FRA Administrator Amit Bose. “The projects funded by the program demonstrate the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s lasting impact on communities by strengthening their infrastructure, reducing congestion, and saving lives.”
The Railroad Crossing Elimination Program will fund projects that create grade separations — such as overpasses and underpasses — as well as closures, track relocations, and improvement or installation of warning devices at crossings if related to a separation or relocation project. Planning, environmental review, and other preliminary design elements are also eligible for grant funding.
FRA will evaluate project proposals based on their potential to improve safety by eliminating crossings or improving existing highway-rail grade crossings; increase access to emergency services; reduce emissions; provide economic benefit; and hire locally, among other possible community enhancements.
The Railroad Crossing Elimination Program is one of several funding opportunities supported by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to improve the safety of rail infrastructure across the country. Earlier this month, FRA awarded over $368 million in Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Program grants to dozens of projects that will upgrade or eliminate grade crossings. Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, funding for the CRISI program will triple for the next five years, meaning more than $1 billion will be available starting later this year.