Railway-Highway Crossings Program: Call for Projects

Open – Applications Due May 29, 2020.

Available Funding for 2020

Approximately $11 million Federal Highway Section 130 Program funds.

Program Purpose

The purpose of this program is to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries at public highway-rail grade crossings through the elimination of hazards and/or the installation/upgrade of protective devices at crossings.

The program focus is on adding protection to projects that demonstrate a need for safety and efficiency.

*To learn more visit: FHWA Home / Safety / HSIP / Railway-Highway Crossings (Section 130) Program

Typical uses for the Section 130 funds are listed below but are not limited to:

  • Install train-activated warning bells or horns.
  • Flashing lights.
  • Overhead cantilevers.
  • Gates and constant warning time circuitry.

*Note: Section 130 funds cannot be used at private highway rail crossings.

Eligibility

The Section 130 program funds are eligible for projects at all public crossings. Fifty percent of a State's apportionment under 23 USC 130(e) is dedicated for the installation of protective devices at crossings. The remainder of the funds apportionment can be used for any hazard elimination project, including protective devices. The FAST Act extends eligibility to include projects at grade crossings to eliminate hazards posed by blocked crossings due to idling trains.

Typical projects funded by Section 130 are listed below but are not limited to:

  • Any public grade crossings that include roadways, bike trails and pedestrian paths.
  • Preliminary engineering/design, right-of-way, and construction phases of projects are eligible for funding.
  • The closure of any public railroad crossing(s).
  • Safety improvements for Pedestrians and Bicyclists at crossing(s).
  • Installation of new crossing protective devices.
  • Upgrading existing crossing protective devices.

Identifying Projects

Crossings are selected by Local Programs staff for inclusion into a funding list based on risk potential, Practical Solutions and cost effectiveness. Utilize available data sources to identify crossings that show a high risk potential for crashes. Projects are listed below, but are not limited to:

  • Eliminating or consolidating crossings to help mitigate risk.
  • Crash history and trends recorded at the location.
  • High Vehicle and train volumes at crossing.
  • Pedestrian/Bicyclist path crossing inadequate.
  • Crossing geometry.
  • Sight Distance is inadequate.
  • Other Railroad Items that address safety.

Local Programs staff review each identified crossing. The review determines which crossings are considered for Section 130 Program funds. This is based upon such factors as the federal program requirements, project eligibility criteria, and if there are improvements which can be made to reduce risks covered by the Section 130 Program funds.

Selection Process

  • All properly submitted applications will be reviewed to ensure they are complete and eligible for funding.
  • Each project submitted for the Spot Location will be evaluated using a scoring matrix with points provided for, but are not limited to:
    • Exposure Factures.
    • Crashes within the last 5 years.
    • Crossing Closure or Consolidation of Crossings.
    • Roadway and Railway Items.
    • Sight Distance.
    • Crossing Angle.
  • All projects will be prioritized based on past and current delivery of federal projects by the applying agencies.
  • WSDOT may conduct site visits with the applicant, as needed.
  • WSDOT’s Local Programs Director will select the final projects by fall of 2020.

Other Requirements

  • Projects require a ten percent local match per phase (preliminary engineering/design, right-of-way, and construction) for all eligible federal expenditures. If the construction phase is authorized by April 30, 2022, then the construction phase is eligible for 100% funding (no local match required). Federal funds cannot be used as match for any phase.
  • Projects must be fully funded between this funding and other funding sources, as applicable.
  • There is no maximum funding that can be requested in each application.
  • Projects must comply with all necessary federal and state requirements as detailed in the Local Agency Guidelines Manual and the FHWA Rail-Highway Crossing (Section 130) Program Manual.
  • Once a project has been awarded funds, the agency shall complete the project as selected.
  • Project recipients must report quarterly on the status and expenditures of each project.
  • Project recipients are required to submit monthly progress billings to ensure timely reimbursement of eligible federal expenditures.
  • Project costs incurred prior to federal fund obligation are not eligible for reimbursement.
  • Agencies that do not actively pursue the awarded project are at risk of the project being cancelled and the funds reprogrammed.

Application Form

A completed application form (doc 56 kb) is required. Only one application per location. Include all projects the agency is requesting to be funded. Applications must include:

  • General project information.
  • A vicinity map showing the locations of all improvements/ countermeasures/projects.
  • A conceptual plan and cross section showing the existing and final configurations for infrastructure improvements and countermeasures.
  • A detailed cost estimate for each phase (preliminary engineering, right of way, and construction). The cost estimate for construction must be determined assuming that the project is design-bid-build or design-build and not by the agency's forces.

Application forms can be completed electronically or by hand but must be submitted electronically by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 29, 2020 by email to HLPGrants@wsdot.wa.gov.

*Note: Paper submittals will not be accepted. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

Program Contacts:

For additional information about the Section 130 program and process, contact:

Paul Snow, HQ Local Programs
Technical Services Safety Analyst (Section 130 Rail Crossing)
Email: paul.snow@wsdot.wa.gov
Phone number: 360-705-7380

For railroad crossing and accident information, please visit the Federal Railroad Administration. Once there, you can search a crossing for both crossing accident history and inventory information.
If you have additional questions, please contact:

Lori Halstead
Email: lori.halstead@utc.wa.gov
Phone number: 360-664-1262

*Note: information about train speeds and train counts must be obtained from the railroad directly. Ms. Halstead can provide railroad contact information.