The following examples highlight how USDOT discretionary grants are being used to improve transportation infrastructure and expand access for rural communities across the country.
CRISI: Rail Improvement Projects
FRA’s Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program funds many rail infrastructure rehabilitation and restoration projects in rural areas each year. During the FY18 funding cycle, over one-third of total funds — more than $118 million — were awarded to rural projects. These investments in passenger and freight rail increase the safety of grade crossings, benefit surrounding communities by increasing access, and improve service reliability and timeliness.
The Graham Creek Bridge Replacement Project | The City of Madison Port Authority was awarded up to $4.2 million to replace a structurally deficient, 130-year-old railroad bridge at Graham Creek, roughly 17 miles north of Madison, Indiana.
Upgrade to U.S. DOT Crossing 727808C1 | The Mobile County Commission was awarded up to $175,925 in FY18 to upgrade a Mobile County, Alabama, public grade crossing at Fiber Road and Norfolk Southern Railway, replacing passive warning devices with lights, bells, and gates. The crossing is located near a manufacturing expansion expected to increase vehicle and truck traffic.
Central Georgia Rail Corridor Competitiveness Project | The City of Dublin, Georgia, was awarded up to $4 million to complete a series of track, bridge, tie and surfacing improvements, allowing the 171-mile Georgia Central Railway corridor to accommodate 286,000-pound railcars and increase speeds from 10 mph to 25 mph for one-third of the main line.
Developing and Implementing a Mobile Device Emergency Responder Access Application for the Louisville and Indiana Railroad Company | The Louisville and Indiana Railroad Company was awarded up to $335,361 to develop a geographic information system mobile application for the Louisville and Indiana Railroad Company with software, linking railroad dispatch and first responders, aiding communication and response during railroad incidents. The railroad is working in collaboration with the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association and the Short Line Safety Institute.
INFRA: Infrastructure Improvement Projects
OST’s Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) program supports the Department’s goal of enhancing our Nation’s infrastructure by creating opportunities for all levels of government and the private sector to fund infrastructure investments. The program aims to encourage innovation, improve processes to build significant projects, and increase accountability for the projects that are built. In FY19, over $855 million in grant funding was proposed through the INFRA discretionary grant program.
I-17 Flexible Demand Project | The Arizona Department of Transportation was awarded $90 million to add capacity on a rural, mountainous stretch of I-17 north of Phoenix. The project supports economic vitality and generates regional economic, mobility, and safety benefits through travel time savings, accident reductions, and operating and emissions costs savings. The project may also contribute to safety, environmental sustainability, and congestion relief through the reduction delays due to the added lanes.
I-70 Rocheport Bridge and Mineola Climbing Lanes Project | The Missouri Department of Transportation was awarded $81.2 million to complete two critical upgrades along I-70. The project includes replacing the Rocheport Bridge over the Missouri River, which is nearing the end of its service life, and constructing approximately 1.2 miles of east- and west-bound truck climbing lanes to improve traffic flow. The project will maintain and improve a vital freight corridor carrying interstate traffic of more than 12.5 million vehicles per year, including 3.6 million trucks. Replacing the aging facility will avoid hours of possible future detours for freight vehicles and passengers traveling across Missouri.
Tuscaloosa Revitalization of Access Network Systems | The City of Tuscaloosa, Alabama was awarded $6.87 million to replace the University Boulevard, US82 Overpass Bridge with a new, longer, and wider structure. Upgrading transportation facilities and modes aims to increase community access to jobs, health care, and local retail developments. This project will improve the movement of goods and people, furthering economic vitality throughout the region. Additionally, the project will lead to more efficient traffic flow on one of Tuscaloosa’s busiest roadways and allow larger freight vehicles to utilize the University Bridge route. This project will also reduce emissions from automobiles and trucks, decrease the number of crashes and improve safety, and employ innovation through an advanced Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) during and after construction.