COLUMBUS, Ohio – According to the Ohio Rail Development Commission, Governor Mike DeWine announced available funds totaling $100 million to go toward railroad crossings.
According to the Ohio Rail Development Commission, Governor Mike DeWine announced available funds totaling $100 million to go toward railroad crossings. The state of Ohio has 5,700 railroad grade crossings, and the $100 million will “support the work of local communities to engineer construction projects to eliminate these crossings and pay matching funds that are required for additional support from the Federal Railroad Administration.”
Governor DeWine stated that to “compete for federal grants, communities need the resources to develop the projects, prepare federal applications, and commit matching funds to make Ohio’s grant applications competitive. . . Railroad grade projects can be complex and expensive, and without state assistance, most communities do not have the resources to develop them. This program will provide support to get these projects moving in the right direction.”
Since the end of 2019, the FRA has been collecting data regarding blocked railroad crossings, and it has found over 10,500 reports of blocked crossings in the last four years. These blockages cause safety hazards and can prevent emergency vehicles from getting through. The Chair of the Ohio Rail Development Commission, Scott Corbitt, commented on these blockages, saying that “eliminating grade crossings has a ripple effect on safety for motorists, train operators, and first responders who are often delayed by blocked crossings.”
The Ohio Rail Development Commission has said that municipalities across the state can submit projects for eliminating grade crossings, so the Commission can identify those with the “best opportunities for federal funding and assist in developing these locations into competitive federal grant applications.”