State issues nearly $1 million in grants to maintain, improve railroad crossings

Railroad companies on track to receive funding to improve public safety

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 17, 2017) — Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) Secretary Greg Thomas has approved the issuance of $929,004 in grants to improve multimodal freight transportation through the KY Rail Crossing Improvement (KRCI) Program. Administered through the KYTC Division of Planning, these funds are used to maintain and improve local and regional railroads.

“Safety continues to be the first priority of the Cabinet and this extends to all modes of transportation. We are pleased to partner with our rail companies to improve safety for the public and to support the movement of freight across Kentucky,” said Thomas.

Three applicants submitted requests for railroad improvement funds. Awards were issued to Paducah and Louisville Railroad (PAL), RJ Corman Railroad Group (RJC) and Port of Louisville Railroad (LOR) to fund improvements for 16 projects affecting 14 crossings. Awardees will be reimbursed 50% of the total project cost through the program for the $1.9 million in rail improvements.

“Railways are a major logistical resource for industry in our part of the state, and a major component of our transportation system,” said Rep. Steven Rudy, R-Paducah, Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations & Revenue. “I commend the Transportation Cabinet, as well as Paducah & Louisville Railway, for working together to fund these critical safety and design improvements. These projects will have an overwhelmingly positive impact when it comes to relieving traffic congestion at our railroad crossings, by improving traffic flow and increasing the safety of our citizens. Public-private partnerships like these are the way of the future, and it is encouraging to see the public and private sector working together on innovative solutions to improve our infrastructure.”

When selecting KRCI awardees, the cabinet examined factors such as crash history, vehicle, train and truck traffic, physical condition, project cost, and the federal railroad crossing score. Some of the crossings had average daily traffic counts as high as 13,000 vehicles. Safety improvements include the installation of signals, lights, barriers, gates, bells or other equipment. The majority of projects will have rehabilitate crossing surfaces including pavement, ballast, ties and rail replacements.

For a list of railroad crossing projects, click here.

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