NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Biden-Harris administration announced Monday that it has awarded more than $27 million to the state of Tennessee in hopes to reduce train-vehicle collisions and improve safety of railroad crossings.
The funding – covered by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Railroad Crossing Elimination Grant Program – is just a fraction of the $570 million that will be awarded to 32 states nationwide and used for projects to address blocked crossings and collisions.
In Tennessee, a bulk of the funding will be spent in the city of Cleveland. The FRA said the project will replace the crossing on 3rd Street SE with a grade-separated flyover bridge. The replacement is expected to improve rail traffic, reduce travel time and eliminate blocked crossings.
Last year, there were more than 2,000 reports of railroad crossing collisions and more than 30,000 reports of blocked crossings in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Railroad (FRA).
In a release, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the funding will save time for Americans who oftentimes find themselves stuck at blocked railroad crossings.
“Every year, commuters, residents, and first responders lose valuable time waiting at blocked railroad crossings – and worse, those crossings are too often the site of collisions that could be prevented,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, we’re improving rail crossings in communities across the country to save lives, time, and resources for American families.”
The first round of funding will go toward more than 400 at-grade crossings nationwide by adding grade separations, closing crossings and improving existing crossings where train tracks and roads intersect.
In a release, the FRA said additional funding from the Railroad Crossing Elimination Grant Program will be provided over the next four years.