JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Transportation is asking for millions of dollars to upgrade rail crossings across the state.
The department made the request when it filed its 2024 budget request, according to a spokesperson from MoDOT.
The funding request comes nearly four months after after a deadly Amtrak crash near Mendon, Missouri.
The crash killed four people and injured at least 150 other passengers. It also caused $4 million dollars in damage to the train and tracks.
People living in the area said they’d complained about the crossing for years. They said the crossing was steep and it was difficult to see if a train was coming until it was too late.
According to MoDOT’s Safety Oversight Program, the $50 million in funding would be used to oversee design, construction, and operations to help reduce the risk of accidents and injuries on rail transit systems.
The state has more than 3,300 public rail crossings. MoDOT said about 50% of the crossings have lights and/or gates. Fewer than 500 of those crossings are managed by the state. MoDOT said just 22 of them are passive crossings without any kind of warning system.
There are also 2,815 crossings located and managed by individual communities and counties. MoDOT said about 1,400 of those are considered passive crossings.
MoDOT records show the department uses about $1.5 million every year to make improvements to railroads and crossings. MoDOT also receives about $6 million from the federal government to improve and repair railroad crossings.
The department said that with the current funding, only about 20 crossings can be improved every year.
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