The US Department of Transportation (US DOT) has allocated more than $573m this year for the Railroad Crossing Elimination Programme.

It has issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the new competitive discretionary grant programme, which enables to enhance safety and avoid lengthy delays at railroad crossings across the country.

The programme, which was created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will be administered by the US Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). At least 20% of the total funding amount will be used in rural and tribal areas.

Under the programme, funding will be provided for projects that build grade separations, such as overpasses and underpasses.

It also covers closures, track relocations, and enhancement or installation of warning devices at crossings if linked to a separation or relocation project.

Funding will also be provided for planning environmental review and other preliminary design elements.

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FRA will assess project proposals based on their potential for safety upgrades by removing crossings or enhancing existing highway-rail grade crossings.

The proposals will also be considered for increasing access to emergency services, reduction of emissions, providing economic benefits and hiring local people.

US DOT Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said: “In too many communities across America, outdated railroad crossings are unsafe, result in lengthy wait times, and can even create significant delays in our supply chains.

“With resources from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we can improve rail crossings and help people and goods get where they need to go more safely.”

This year in April, the US DOT’s Build America Bureau awarded up to $1.76bn in loan for Maryland’s Purple Line Light Rail Transit Project.