Railroad crossings cause over 2,000 collisions each year, while also impacting first responders’ ability to reach emergencies in time. The Department of Transportation on Monday announced it awarded more than $570 million to fund 63 projects in 32 states to help reduce collisions and costly blocked crossings, with changes planned for more than 400 railroad crossings. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg notes that “commuters, residents, and first responders lose valuable time waiting at blocked railroad crossings – and worse, those crossings are too often the site of collisions that could be prevented.”
The money is part of the $3 billion set aside for a five-year program under the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
As part of the grant program, the city of Pelham, Alabama will use $41.8 million to construct a bridge, avoiding two at-grade railroad crossings that have caused issues for first responders in the past. Broward County, Florida will use $15.4 million to upgrade safety measures for 21 railroad crossings on the East Coast Rail Corridor with a pattern of collisions with vehicles. Additional projects will be picked for the next four years of the grant program.