U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Q: What is the Federal share of rail-highway crossing projects?
A: Under 23 U.S.C. 130(f)(3), the Federal share of rail-highway crossing projects using Section 130 set-aside funds is 90 percent. Rail-highway crossing projects funded with other Federal-aid funding sources, such as Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) funds, may qualify for increased Federal Share up to 100 percent for projects under 23 U.S.C. 120(c)(1). For more information on Federal Share for Selected Programs, see the guidance Fact Sheet at www.fhwa.dot.gov/fastact/factsheets/federalsharefs.cfm.
Q: Are Section 130 set-aside funds eligible for increased Federal share under 23 U.S.C. 120(c)(1)?
A: No. Section 130 set-aside funds are not eligible for increased Federal share for projects under 23 U.S.C. 120(c)(1) because 23 U.S.C. 130(f)(3) sets the Federal share of Section 130 set-aside funds at 90 percent.
Q: Are blocked crossings eligible for Section 130 funds?
A: Yes. 23 U.S.C. 130(a) was amended by the Fixing America’ Surface Transportation (FAST) Act to include “projects at grade crossings to eliminate hazards posed by blocked grade crossings due to idling trains”.1
Q: Can Section 130 funds be used to develop a State Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Action Plan?
A: Yes. Section 11401(d) of the FAST Act allows for Section 130 funds to be made available “to provide States with funds to develop a State highway-rail grade crossing action plan…or to update a State action plan.”
Q: Does the 2% limit for compilation and analysis of data in support of Rail-Highway Crossings Program annual reports apply to the development of State Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Action Plans?
A: No. Section 130 funds used to develop or update a State action plan are not restricted to the 2 percent of funds under 23 U.S.C. 130(k) for compilation and analysis of data in support of Rail-Highway Crossings Program Annual Reports.
Q: What are the requirements for State Action Plans?
A: The FAST Act requires the Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to develop and distribute requirements for State Action Plans.2 Rulemaking for State Action Plans from the FRA is forthcoming and will stipulate required plan content, review process, and deadlines. The FHWA and FRA developed a model grade crossing action plan for States that wish to update existing State Action Plans or develop a new State Action Plan to address grade crossing safety. The Highway-Railway Grade Crossing Action Plan and Project Prioritization Noteworthy Practices can be downloaded from the FHWA Office of Safety Rail-Highway Crossings Program web page at https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/hsip/xings/.
Q: Are crossing surface improvements eligible for Section 130 funds?
A: Yes. Crossing surface improvements are an eligible activity for Federal-aid funds if they are identified as a project for the elimination of hazards of railway-highway crossings as part of the State’s data-driven project selection and prioritization processes in accordance with 23 CFR 924.9(a)(4)(ii). As noted above, the Federal share for projects carried out with Section 130 set-aside funds is fixed at 90 percent of the cost of the project.
Q: How are Section 130 funds distributed to the States?
A: Funds are apportioned by formula to States each year in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 130(f). Per 23 U.S.C. 130(e)(1), funds are set aside from the Highway Safety Improvement Program for the elimination of hazards and installation of protective devices at railway-highway crossings.
Q: How are Section 130 funds used within a State?
A: The Rail-Highway Crossings Program (Section 130) is a Federally-funded, State-administered program. In accordance with 23 CFR 924.9(a)(4)(ii), States shall use State-specific, data-driven processes for managing their Rail-Highway Crossing Programs that (A) consider the relative risk of public railway-highway grade crossings based on a hazard index formula, (B) include onsite inspection, and (C) emphasize standard signing and markings at all public crossings. States may utilize various processes to select and prioritize projects.
Q: Does FHWA award Section 130 funds under a competitive award process?
A: No. Because Section 130 set-aside funds are distributed by formula pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 130(f), FHWA does not award Section 130 funds under a competitive award process.
1 Pub. L. 114-94, § 1412
2 Pub. L. 114-94, § 11401