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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

U.S. Department of Transportation Awards $40 Million in Grants to Improve Safety at Highway-Railway Crossings in Five States

Thursday, January 14, 2021

FHWA 01-21
Contact: Neil Gaffney
Tel: (202) 366-0660

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation today provided $40 million in grants to States seeking to improve safety where highways and rail lines cross. The grants, awarded by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA), will help commuter rail authorities in California, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington eliminate hazards at highway-railway crossings.

“This $40 million in grants will help states improve safety at commuter rail crossings in rural and urban areas across America,” said Acting U.S. Transportation Secretary Steven Bradbury.

The Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2020, appropriated $50 million in Commuter Authority Rail Safety Improvement (CARSI) Grants Program funding to be awarded by FHWA for highway-railway crossing-related projects, including those that separate or protect grades at crossings; rebuild existing railroad grade crossing structures; relocate highways to eliminate grade crossings; and eliminate hazards posed by blocked grade crossings due to idling trains. By statute, an eligible commuter authority must have experienced at least one accident investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) between January 1, 2008, and December 31, 2018, and for which the NTSB issued an accident report. From 2010 to 2019, there was an increase in the number of incidents and fatalities at highway-railway crossing across the country. Over this 10-year period, the overall number of incidents and fatalities increased by 6.3 percent and 10.1 percent respectively, while the overall number of injuries declined by 10.5 percent.

“The safety of those traveling on our nation’s roadways, including where those roads intersect with railways, is of paramount importance to the Federal Highway Administration,” said Acting Federal Highway Administrator Mala Parker. “These grants can help states save the lives of motorists and pedestrians at these crossings.”

“Separation or protection of grades at crossings will not only improve and ensure the safety of rail passengers, pedestrians and motorists, but will also keep rail moving on time,” said Federal Railroad Administrator Ronald Batory.

"We are committed along with our partners in FHWA and FRA to improving safety around highway-rail crossings,” said Deputy Federal Transit Administrator K. Jane Williams. “Today’s grant announcement will help ensure Americans are safe near rail crossings.”

CARSI Round One Grant Selections




Project Description

Grant Amount


The Southern California Regional Rail Authority, operator of Metrolink, the agency’s busiest commuter rail line, will improve safety at Tyler Avenue and at Cogswell Road in the city of El Monte in Los Angeles County by bringing at-grade highway-rail crossings up to current standards and adding pedestrian gates and right-of-way fencing. 



The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority will relocate and reconstruct an existing transit station platform along a single track to eliminate delays at the station located on State Route 92 (Middlesex Avenue) in the town of Wilmington.


New York


The New York State Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Metro North Railroad (MNR) will improve safety at nine crossings along the MNR Harlem Line in Winchester, Dutchess and Putnam Counties by upgrading or replacing  existing at-grade crossing warning systems and reconstructing railroad crossing structures and approaches currently in place.  



The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s Regional Rail Grade Crossing Safety Enhancements Program will install new gate systems at three crossings and pavement markings at 20 crossing locations in Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties.   



The Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority will install new crossing gate arms, pedestrian signals, elevated concrete pedestrian pads and detectable warning devices and improve flashing-light signals at 7th Street Northwest and 5th Street Northwest in Puyallup.






FHWA expects to issue a Notice of Funding Opportunity to initiate Round Two of the CARSI grant competition and invite eligible applicants to compete for the remaining CARSI funds in the coming months.

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