Washougal Among U.S. Cities to Receive DOT Grant

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
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WASHOUGAL, Wash. - City in Washington to receive multi-million dollar grant for rail crossing.

Washougal has received $40 million in an effort to eliminate traffic-blocking rail crossing. Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray both announced that the grant will go toward the design and construction of a 32ndStreet Underpass Project in an effort to reconnect the Addy Street neighborhood with the downtown port area. Five intersections will be reconstructed through this project. The grant comes from the DOT’s Railroad Crossing Elimination Program from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This grant is the second-largest award from the DOT today. Burlington and Seattle also received grants to study railroad crossings, totaling $4 million.

In April 2021, Senator Cantwell proposed legislation to establish the Railroad Crossing Elimination Grant Program with the DOT to improve rail safety and maintenance. Throughout 2021, the legislation went through the Commerce Committee and was finally included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that November. 

Senator Cantwell said of the grant that “This grade crossing is one of the busiest along the BNSF railroad line in the entire State of Washington, and it creates a real hardship for the Washougal community. When a train blocks the crossing, emergency vehicles can’t get through, and traffic backs up onto State Route 14. Building a new railroad bridge and underpass structure between Main Street and F Place will connect the two halves of Washougal while helping the entire transportation corridor – both road and rail – operate more efficiently.”

In response, Senator Murray asserts that “this funding for Washougal is a really big deal and it will be put to good use, helping reconnect neighborhoods and delivering all kinds of major infrastructure improvements . . . This investment will help ensure that goods get to where they need to be on time and make sure this crossing is safer and more effective for everyone. Grants like these are why I’ve fought hard to fund programs in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law when I’m writing and negotiating the Senate’s spending bills.”

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