KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Projects in Kansas and Missouri make the cut as the Federal Government spends millions to reduce the number of crashes involving trains.
The Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration announced more than $570 million in funding to address hundreds of railroad crossings across the country.
It includes three crossings in Kansas and one project in Missouri.
Plans for each location will improve safety and make it easier to get around railroad tracks.
City of Olathe
Changes are coming to Olathe, thanks to the federal funding.
The city plans to build a bridge over railroad tracks connecting East 119th and West 119th streets.
On Monday the city found out a federal grant will provide nearly $18 million for the project. The city of Olathe and the Johnson County Assistance Road System fund will contribute a 53% non-federal match to the project.
Olathe will eventually do away with the crossing at Woodland Road and Northgate Street. The street will be turned into a neighborhood cul-de-sac instead of the V-shaped way around the tracks to get back on 119th.
The grant program will pay $600,000 for a study that will look at the possibilities of eliminate a dozen railroad crossings along a two-mile stretch in Emporia.
The city said there is an average of 82 trains every day in the area. The trains are an average of 8,000 feet long.
BNSF Railway will partner with the city of Emporia for the study, and each will contribute a 50% total non-federal match.
This south-central Kansas community hopes to eliminate all six railroad crossings. The city said about 100 trains use the tracks in the community.
The grant will pay more than $8.8 million to build a corridor allowing trains to travel through the city without ever coming in contact with other traffic.
The city of Wellington and BNSF Railway will contribute a 36% non-federal match to the project.
The Federal Railroad Administration awarded $2 million to one project in Missouri.
Port Authority of Kansas City
The project will develop a plan to eliminate three railroad crossings on Lydia Avenue.
They are dangerous, according to the Port Authority, because they have no sidewalk or bicycle right-of-way. They are the only ways to cross the street.
The Port Authority also said it will improve safe access to the Berkley Riverfront area.
The Port Authority of Kansas City is providing a 20% non-federal match.
Last year, there were more than 2,000 highway-rail crossing collisions in the U.S. and more than 30,000 reports of blocked crossings submitted to FRA’s public complaint portal.
Collisions happened at crossings in both Kansas and Missouri.