Florida railways, universities, and agencies receive $57.6 million in transportation funding

by | Sep 25, 2023

  • Five organizations in Florida collectively received up to $57.6 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation on Monday to support projects focused on improving safety, infrastructure, and workforce development. 
  • Florida Gulf and Atlantic Railroad received the largest portion of the funding, $23.1 million, to renovate and maintain 100 miles of railroad tracks through the Florida panhandle. 
  • The funding comes as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, totaling $1.4 billion nationwide. 

Various entities in Florida on Monday collectively secured up to $57.6 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation to be allocated towards projects aimed at enhancing safety, infrastructure, and workforce development across the state. The funding comes as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, totaling $1.4 billion nationwide.

Florida Gulf and Atlantic Railroad (FGA) received up to $23.1 million for the Florida Panhandle Rail Resiliency and Connectivity Project to maintain and renovate tracks and bridges spanning 100 miles across Florida’s panhandle. The project seeks to enhance system performance, meet existing and anticipated demand, and put in place safety measures for the transportation of potentially hazardous commodities.

Another private-sector group, Seminole Gulf Railway, was granted up to $9.6 million for track improvements over a 12-mile segment of its Southwest Florida rail corridor. The enhancements intend to boost system performance, travel speeds, load capacity, and decrease maintenance costs, and track defects, according to the company.

Elsewhere, for the purpose of workforce development in the transportation industry, the University of South Florida was granted up to $17 million to implement targeted outreach and internship programs for students.

“These projects will make American rail safer, more reliable, and more resilient, delivering tangible benefits to dozens of communities where railroads are located, and strengthening supply chains for the entire country,” said Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

Brightline, which launched its South Florida to Orlando service line last week, was given up to $1.64 million in order to utilize artificial intelligence to collect data on trespassing incidents. The project plans to provide real-time analysis and data aggregation along the train line’s corridor. Brightline and a secondary private company, Wi-Tronix, will jointly contribute 20 percent as a non-Federal match.

At the state level, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) secured up to $6.9 million to improve 110 highway-rail grade crossings. With the funding, the state will initiate signage enhancements, pavement markings, surface replacement, and traffic signal equipment installations while also working to prevent occurrences of trespassing, supplying a 50 percent non-Federal match.

“The selected projects will tackle issues facing communities and invest in a 21st century rail network yielding greater benefits – faster and more reliable deliveries of goods, safer communities, cleaner transportation, and more jobs and workforce development opportunities,” said Federal Railroad Administration Administrator Amit Bose.


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