Federal grants issued to Georgia, 31 states to fix blocked train crossings

The first round of grants total $570 million across 32 states, and Georgia is $3.2 million.
Federal grants issued for dangerous train crossings
Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 3:36 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 6, 2023 at 10:28 AM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Stalled trains are cutting off communities across the country that block first responders and force kids to climb over and under trains, according to recent investigations by InvestigateTV and ProPublica.

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced grants to address blocked train crossings. The first round of grants total $570 million across 32 states. Georgia is receiving a total of $3.2 million.

In a news release, Georgia’s U.S. Sens. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff said the grants are being issued to three counties:

  • DeKalb County: A grade separation at the Constitution Road crossing on Norfolk Southern’s Atlanta Terminal subdivision, modifying the physical infrastructure around the right-of-way to allow safe passage from one side of the tracks to the other. This crossing is located near Norfolk Southern’s Atlanta facility and is blocked approximately 45 times a day.
  • Gwinnett County: The Board of Commissioners’ proposed planning project will conduct a study on three crossings experiencing challenges with safety, traffic increases, and curved approaches. The project aims to determine feasible construction alternatives to promote stronger connectivity and socioeconomic equity.
  • Chatham County: The Chatham Multimodal Community Improvement Project will help eliminate 11 at-grade crossings and improve access to an existing port facility in the cities of Savannah, Garden City, and Port Wentworth, Georgia.

The goal is to fund projects that would eliminate railroad crossings.

The projects are designed improve safety and mobility for neighborhoods repeatedly threatened by railroad companies’ stalled trains.

Trains blocking railroad crossings, sometimes days, are causing dangerous delays in communities across Georgia and nationwide.

Recent spectacular derailments have focused attention on train safety and whether the nation’s rail companies are doing enough to protect the public, and whether federal regulators are doing enough to make them, especially as the companies build longer and longer trains.

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