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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Biden-Harris Administration Makes More than $1.1 Billion Available to Strengthen Safety at Rail Crossings and Reduce Blocked Crossings

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Created by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Railroad Crossing Elimination Grant Program continues to address safety and connectivity in local communities across the country

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) that makes available over $1.1 billion in Railroad Crossing Elimination (RCE) Grant Program funding. As the only competitive discretionary grant program dedicated to improving railroad crossings’ safety and efficiency, the RCE Program invests in projects that construct grade separations, upgrade safety devices at crossings, or close at-grade crossings where roads and train tracks intersect. Addressing collisions and blockages at grade crossings has been a top priority for FRA – especially as growing train lengths lead to more frequent and longer blocked crossings – and the funding announced today will improve safety and access to communities separated by rail crossings. 

“This program demonstrates how President Biden’s infrastructure package is directly benefiting communities across America, serving to keep citizens safe and improve their quality of life,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “By making grade crossings safer or eliminating them altogether, we are acting to ensure Americans spend less time stuck in lengthy delays, can get around their neighborhoods more easily and safely, and can avoid the needless tragedies that result from collisions with trains.” 

Project applications will be evaluated based on factors such as whether they improve safety, increase community connectivity, enhance access to emergency services, improve the mobility of goods, strengthen supply chains, and reduce noise. At least 20 percent of RCE Program funding (around $230 million this round) will also be set aside for projects located in rural communities or on Tribal lands, and around $38 million will be available to fund planning projects. 

“Thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, FRA is equipped with unprecedented levels of resources to tackle long-standing issues of grade crossing collisions and blocked crossings, which create safety risks for numerous communities around the country,” said FRA Administrator Amit Bose. “Railroads play a vital role in our nation’s transportation network by moving people and goods in a sustainable and efficient way, and the funding announced today will help ensure that railroad operations are compatible with safety and mobility in the communities through which trains move.”

Last year, FRA announced over 63 RCE Program grants for major projects, such as the construction of a sealed rail corridor in Houston, Texas, as well as overpasses, underpasses, and rail bridges in Pelham, Alabama; Hammond, Indiana; and Washougal, Washington. FRA has also already made available billions more in grant funding this year through the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Program and the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program, both of which will improve safety and efficiency on the nation’s rail network. 

The NOFO is on public inspection in today’s Federal Register here. Applications for funding are due 75 days after the publication date. 

More information about the RCE Program and the NOFO can be found on FRA’s website here.