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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

USDOT to sign over TIGER II grant for Tower 55 project in Texas


Tomorrow, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and John Cornyn (R-Texas), BNSF Railway Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Matt Rose, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and other dignitaries plan to attend a ceremony in Fort Worth, Texas, during which LaHood is expected to sign a federal grant agreement for the Tower 55 project.

Tower 55 is one of the busiest and most congested at-grade rail intersections in the nation, accessed daily by about 100 freight and passenger trains operated by BNSF, Union Pacific Railroad, Amtrak and Trinity Railway Express. To begin in April 2012 and conclude in February 2014, the $91 million project calls for building an additional north-south mainline; redesigning a Centralized Traffic Control signal and interlocker system to improve control and increase train speed; completing structural improvements to existing bridges; closing grade crossings and improving nearby streets; and bolstering emergency vehicle access and pedestrian safety at an underpass. The project is designed to increase rail capacity at the tower by about 30 percent.

The U.S. Department of Transportation will provide a $34 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery II (TIGER II) grant for the project. The TIGER II award was announced late last year, but the parties involved in the project just recently finalized a construction agreement. Railroads will provide about $65 million and other funding will be allocated by the Texas Department of Transportation, city of Fort Worth, Fort Worth Transportation Authority and North Central Texas Council of Governments.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/31/2011