Florida awarded $12.9 million to bolster safety at highway-rail crossings

by | Sep 20, 2022

 

  • The grant will improve safety for drivers and pedestrians in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties
  • “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. “Grants like this one are a big step to help keep people safe near highway-rail grade crossings.”

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced today a $12.9 million grant to the Southern Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) to improve safety at highway-rail crossings across South Florida.

“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 U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Today’s 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.”

The grant is one of five from the FHWA’s Commuter Authority Rail Safety Improvement (CARSI) program aimed at eliminating hazards and addressing safety issues in California, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania. Grants for the five projects, awarded by FHWA in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA), will be used to make highway-rail crossings safer for all parties.

“This grant shows 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.”

SFRTA will use its 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.

“FRA is committed to investing in projects that will improve safety in communities across the country,” said FRA Administrator Amit Bose.  “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.”

Today’s announcement coincides with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) launching the “Be Rail Smart” campaign this week to raise rail crossing safety awareness.

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