WASHINGTON D.C. — Ohio is expected to receive over $10 million in funding to help reduce train-vehicle collisions and blocked crossings under the Biden-Harris Administration.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced today that Ohio was awarded more than $10.2 million, through the Railroad Crossing Elimination (RCE) Grant Program. The program was expected to fund two separate projects:
- Symmes Road Grade Separation Project for $3 million
- Location: Butler County Transportation Improvement District
- The project aimed to improve two crossings in the City of Fairfield: Symmes Road and North Gilmore Road, which were a part of CSX’s Terminal Subdivision. The project involved completing the development work for a proposed grade separation at the Symmes Road crossing and performing a feasibility study on the grade separation at North Gilmore Road. It would help increase visibility for drivers, particularly at a crossing that averages more than 40 trains per day. The Butler County Transportation Improvement District and City of Fairfield was expected to contribute a 20 percent non-Federal match.
- Unlocking the Iron Triangle: Grade Separation of S Town Street, Fostoria, Ohio for $7.2 million
- Location: City of Fostoria
- The project funded the removal of three grade crossings. As a result of the project, the Iron Triangle neighborhood was expected to see improved safety and connectivity, declines in travel delays, and reduced noise pollution thanks to fewer blocked crossings and idling trains. The Ohio Rail Development Commission, CSX, and Norfolk Southern Railway was expected to contribute a total 31 percent in non-Federal matching funds.
For years, FRA received complaints from citizens, states, and localities regarding the delays and disruptions caused by frequently blocked crossings that force residents to wait hours at intersections or take detours.
“Every year, 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,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said. “As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, we’re improving rail crossings in communities across the country to save lives, time, and resources for American families.”
With over 2,000 collisions occur every year at highway-rail grade crossings, officials hoped that this funding would help make these crossings safer as well as improve commute times of emergency personnel and residents.
Nationally, the RCE Program was to provide over $570 million in funding for 63 projects in 32 states.
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