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The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration announced a $59 million grant to be shared by the states of California, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania, according to a release published Tuesday. The grant was supported by the FHWA's Commuter Authority Rail Safety Improvement (CARSI) program.
“Safety is the number one priority of the U.S. Department of Transportation, especially as our country faces a crisis of fatalities on our roadways," said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. "[These] grants, along with additional funds from President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will improve safety at highway-rail crossings for travelers, whether they’re riding, driving, biking or walking.”
There are four projects receiving grants from the FHWA with support from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA).
They are adding signal features to help drivers move away from the track before a train arrives in Ventura County, California, modernizing 25 commuter rail crossings with improved lighting and other safety features in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties in Florida, improving accessibility and making warning system upgrades in Dutchess, Nassau, Putnam and Suffolk counties in New York, and the installation of gates and upgrading pavement markings in communities around Philadelphia.
“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 FHWA administrator Stephanie Pollack in the release. “By making these resources available, we can help commuter rail operators mitigate the risks.”
“FRA is committed to investing in projects that will improve safety in communities across the country,” said FRA Administrator Amit Bose in the release. “With investments made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and through coordinated efforts like the CARSI Program, we have an opportunity to improve rail crossings, keeping people safe while helping people and goods move more efficiently.”
“Making highway-rail grade crossings safer is a major goal for public transportation and is an important part of our program to improve safety throughout the transit industry,” said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez in the release. “These grants are a big step to help keep people safe near highway-rail grade crossings.”