U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) continued the annual set-aside under 23 USC 130. The program provides funds for the elimination of hazards at railway-highway crossings.
The funds are set-aside from the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) apportionment. The FAST Act increased the set-aside amount for each fiscal year. In addition, the Consolidated Appropriations Act (Public Law 114-113) signed in December of 2016 provided a one-time increase for fiscal year 2016. The annual set-aside will be:
FY 2016: $350 million
FY 2017: $230 million
FY 2018: $235 million
FY 2019: $240 million
FY 2020: $245 million
The funds are apportioned to States by formula. For information on FAST Act apportionments by State, please see the funding tables.
Section 130 projects are funded at a 90% federal share.
The Section 130 program funds are eligible for projects at all public crossings including roadways, bike trails and pedestrian paths. Fifty percent of a State's apportionment 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.
In accordance with 23 USC 130(i), the funds can be used as incentive payments for local agencies to close public crossings provided there are matching funds from the railroad. Also, in accordance with 23 USC 130(h), the funds can be used for local agencies to provide matching funds for State-funded projects.
In accordance with 23 USC 130(d), Each State is required to conduct and systematically maintain a survey of all highways to identify those railroad crossings that may require separation, relocation, or protective devices, and establish and implement a schedule of projects for this purpose. At a minimum this schedule is to provide signs for all railway-highway crossings.
In accordance with 23 USC 130(g), States are required to submit annual reports on the progress being made to implement this program. For additional information please see the Railway-Highways Crossings Program Reporting Guidance. In accordance with 23 USC 130(k), States may use up to 2% of the Section 130 funding for the compilation and analysis of data to support the reporting requirements.
In accordance with 23 USC 130(l), States are required to update information in the DOT crossing inventory database, including information about warning devices and signage, for each public crossing. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) maintains the crossing inventory. On January 6, 2015, the FRA published regulations that require railroads that operate one or more trains through highway-rail or pathway crossings to submit information to the Crossing Inventory about crossings through which they operate. For more information, see the FRA's National Grade Crossing Inventory Page.
The Federal Railroad Administration issued regulations under 49 CFR 234 Subpart E for Emergency Notification Systems (ENS). The regulations requires certain railroads to establish and maintain systems that allow members of the public to call the railroads, using a toll-free telephone number, and report an emergency or other unsafe condition at railway-highway crossings. The ENS consists of:
More information can be found on FRA's ENS webpage.
The 10 States with the highest number of grade crossing collisions on average during calendar years 2006, 2007 and 2008 were required to develop a State highway-rail grade crossing action plans as required under 49 CFR 234.11. The requirements of the action plans are described under 49 CFR 234.11(c)(2):
A State highway-rail grade crossing action plan shall:
The ten States and their State Action Plans (SAP) plans can be found here:
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and FHWA have developed a model grade crossing action plan for who may wish to update existing State Action Plans to address grade crossing safety, and States who may be interested in developing a State Action Plan in the future to address grade crossing safety. It can be found on FRA's website here: