USDOT Gives Out $248M in FY19 CRISI Rail Grants

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao on March 12 announced the recipients of $248.5 million in railroad grants under the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program that was established by the FAST Act of 2015 and funded in the fiscal 2019 transportation appropriations act.

“This $248.5 million federal investment will upgrade rail infrastructure and enhance safety on the tracks and at railroad crossings in rural and urban communities across America,” said Chao.

Given that the CRISI program was once a source of grant funding for positive train control (PTC) implementation grants, it seems odd that there don’t appear to be any FY 2019 PTC grants from the program.

USDOT has been slow making out some of the grant announcements from the 2019 appropriations act, so the FY 2020 law ordered them to make the announcements for several programs (including CRISI) before May 1, 2020.

The underlying CRISI statute (49 U.S.C. §22907) requires that at least 25 percent of each year’s CRISI grants go towards projects in rural areas, but this being the Trump Administration, rural grants got 51.4 percent of the FY 2019 funding announced this week.

Here are the rural grants (mean grant award $9.5 million, median grant award $5.6 million):

AK Alaska RR Bird Creek Pony Truss Bridge Replacement $3,871,913
DE-MD-VA Delmarve Central RR Bridge Upgrades $18,803,354
FL NE FL Rural Railyard Project $7,763,119
IA Welded Rail Upgrade, Des Moines – Council Bluffs $5,579,357
KS-OK TSOL Track Upgrades $27,000,000
ME New Wells Transportation Center Passenger Platform $16,867,281
MI LSRC Huron Subdivision Welded Rail Upgrade $7,875,770
MN-SD Class III Updgrades, Brandon to Worthington $14,459,100
NM South Valley Rail Freight Near Kirkland AFB $4,638,546
OH Greenfield to Midland Track Upgrades $1,702,688
PA McKean & Venango County WNYP Bridge Upgrades $11,926,000
TN Line & Grade Crossing Upgrades, Humboldt $2,205,000
TX Dayton Rail Crossings Improvement $700,000
TX Fisher Yard Upgrades, Moore County $4,086,700
TX TXGN-UP Harwood, TX Upgrade $223,768
Total, Rural Projects $127,702,596

And here are the urban grants (mean grant size $7.1 million, median grant size $4.5 million):

CA Burbank/Glendale Improve Burbank Airport and Glendale Stations $10,746,091
CO Colorado Springs Extension of Southwest Chief $225,000
CO Longmont BNSF Mainline Grade Crossing Upgrades $4,000,000
CT Windsor Locks New Passenger Rail Station $17,490,000
FL Palmetto Port Manatee Track Upgrades Phase 1 $301,067
FL Palmetto Port Manatee Track Upgrades Phase 2 $606,720
IL Chicago CREATE NS Expansion Pullman Junction $12,905,671
IA Cedar Rapids Replace CRANDIC Bridge Over UP Line $2,978,015
LA New Orleans NOPB Yard Upgrades/Expansion $7,297,421
MA Medford High St. & Canal St. Grade Crossings $136,500
MI Battle Creek New Passenger Rail Track $749,919
MS Hattiesburg CN and NS Grade Separation/Connection $5,397,300
MO St. Louis Replace Merchant’s Bridge to Venice IL $21,445,577
NC Mooresville SH 115 – NS Grade Crossing Upgrade $4,487,500
OH Cincinnati SORTA Upgrade Projects $4,736,123
TX Houston UP-BNSF Grade Crossings $666,000
WI Milwaukee Muskego Yard Bypass Project $26,600,000
Total, Urban Projects $120,768,904

A little more detail on each grant can be found in the full list on the DOT webpage.

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