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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Washington DOT, Kansas City seek TIGER IV grants for transportation projects


The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) recently submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) seeking a total of $40.8 million in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery IV (TIGER IV) program grants for three projects.

WSDOT has requested an $18.9 million TIGER IV grant for the U.S. 395/North Spokane Corridor-BNSF Railway Structures/Realignment project in Spokane County, which is designed to remove a choke point and support the continued construction of the North Spokane Corridor. The project calls for relocating 7.5 miles of BNSF Railway Co.’s mainline, switching and spur tracks near the Freya Street interchange; constructing two structures to carry future freeway traffic over the BNSF tracks; and extending an existing 5.5-mile bicycle and pedestrian trail more than one mile.

In addition, the project includes a bike and pedestrian crossing to be built over the BNSF mainline and Freya Street to reduce the risk of pedestrian and bicycle collisions with trains and motorized vehicles, WSDOT officials said in a prepared statement.

The department also is seeking a $15 TIGER IV grant for a HOT lane expansion in Pierce and King counties, and a $6.9 million grant for port-of-entry improvements at the U.S. and Canada border in Whatcom County.

“In an environment where continued federal transportation funding is uncertain, these grant programs keep us moving forward on critical projects that are important to our state’s economy,” said Washington Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond.

Meanwhile, the city of Kansas City, Mo., submitted an application to the USDOT seeking a $25 million TIGER IV grant to help fund a proposed $101 million, 4.1-mile streetcar line. The 12-station line would run along Main Street in downtown Kansas City.

Regional and local planning efforts identified the need for a north-south downtown fixed-guideway transit system, and an alternative analysis led to a streetcar system being chosen as the locally preferred transportation alternative, Kansas City officials said in a prepared statement. The project will be predominantly funded by $76 million in approved state and local dollars, they said.

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More News from 3/29/2012