Grand Forks $30 Million Rail Grant Relieves Traffic Congestion, Improves Safety
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GRAND FORKS – U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure, joined Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Pete Buttigieg in announcing a $30,000,000 grant to the City of Grand Forks to build an underpass at the intersection of 42nd Street and Demers Avenue. The funds will be distributed under the Fiscal Year 2022 Railroad Crossing Elimination (RCE) Program, a new initiative established by the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).
The proposed project will support the construction of a grade separation and add a 10-foot shared-use path to improve safety and eliminate 131 hours of vehicle delays caused by the nearby Grand Forks Yard-associated train transfers. In addition, this project improves access to the University of North Dakota campus, the local hospital, and will make 42nd Street permanently accessible for all emergency services in the area.
“Everyone can agree infrastructure is critical to our country’s safety, security, and ability to transport goods and services to our communities. Our first responders need to respond quickly to accidents without being stuck behind a train. We’re only as strong as our weakest link, and these funds will help the people of Grand Forks and our nation’s commerce move freely and efficiently,” said Senator Cramer. “This project would not be possible without the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill. It’s hard to get broad, unanimous support out of committee, but it’s not as difficult when you do the right thing.”
Government officials joining Senator Cramer and Secretary Buttigieg were Mayor Brandon Bochenski, Grand Forks Fire Chief Gary Lorenz, and Lt. Governor Tammy Miller.
The RCE Program provides funding for highway-rail and pathway-rail grade crossing improvement projects to improve safety and travel efficiency for people and goods. The IIJA appropriated $573,264,000 for the program for Special Transportation Circumstances grants, Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) awards, and project management oversight.
In response to the notice of funding opportunity, FRA reviewed 153 eligible RCE applications from 41 states. Applicants included states, local governments and political subdivisions of states, metropolitan planning organizations, and public port authorities.