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Rail News: Communication and Signal

Illinois panel seeks applicants for grade-crossing grants


The Illinois Commerce Commission's (ICC) Transportation Bureau is accepting applications for funding of grade-crossing projects until Jan. 15, 2020, the agency announced yesterday.

Proposed projects submitted by the deadline will be considered for inclusion in the fiscal-year 2021-2025 Crossing Safety Improvement Program, ICC officials said in a press release.

Each year, the ICC prioritizes safety improvement projects at grade crossings on local roads and authorizes the use of Grade Crossing Protection Fund (GCPF) grants to help counties, townships and municipalities pay for eligible safety improvements.

Since FY2010, $3.25 million in state motor fuel tax receipts are transferred each month from the Motor Fuel Tax Fund to the GCPF. The amount provides the GCPF with about $39 million annual to be used specifically for crossing safety improvements on local roads and streets.

The funds cannot be used for grade-crossing safety improvements on the state road or highway system. The Illinois Department of Transportation funds those projects through the State Road Fund, ICC officials said.

The GCPF is typically used to help pay for warning device upgrades, grade separations (new and reconstructed), grade separations (vertical clearance improvements), pedestrian grade separations, and interconnects, or upgrading the circuitry at crossings where the warning signals are connected to the adjacent traffic signals so that the two systems' operations are synchronized.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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