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U.S. Reps. Jesus Garcia (D-Ill.) and Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) last month introduced legislation that would establish a first of its kind, stand-alone program to provide federal funding for grade separations.
There are more than 210,000 grade crossings in the United States, and in 2020 alone, 1,901 collisions at such crossings resulted in 198 fatalities and 688 injuries, the congressmen said in a joint press release.
The Building Much Needed Grade Separations Act of 2021 (H.R. 5771) would help prevent accidents, injuries and fatalities, as well as improve passenger and freight service by allowing for higher speeds and more frequent service, they said.
The legislation calls for authorizing $2.5 billion over five years for a competitive grade separation project. It would allow projects over $100 million to be funded through multiyear agreements, similar to how transit projects are funded through the Capital Investment Grant program.
Garcia is a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, while Schneider is a member of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition.