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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

USDOT awards funds for Kentucky bridges and Alaska trackwork, extends university research program grants


On Friday, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced it awarded more than $11.5 million to the state of Kentucky through the Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery III program to replace two deteriorating freight-rail bridges on a heavily-used line between Paducah and Louisville, Ky.

The bridges are part of the Strategic Rail Corridor Network and Defense Connector Lines serving Fort Knox, Ky. The $14.5 million project will benefit base expansion and local industry, support efficient and safe freight transportation, and spur economic growth, USDOT officials said in a news brief.

The USDOT also announced it awarded $1.1 million to the Alaska Railroad Corp. through the Federal Railroad Administration’s Rail Line Relocation and Improvement Program to realign and upgrade track at milepost 142.

The project calls for adding a new road to provide better access for inspections, and relocating and extending a maintenance spur. The railroad also will upgrade road crossings, and mainline and siding crossings.

In addition, the USDOT announced its Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) will extend current University Transportation Center (UTC) grants by one year.

Twenty-two UTCs that were selected in January currently are using fiscal-year 2011 funds for research. RITA will extend their existing grants by one year and award 2012 funds to their programs.

In addition, under MAP-21, RITA will hold a new UTC competition during FY2013 and provide funding through FY2014, with selections and grant awards to be made no later than Oct. 1, 2013. Launched in 1987, the UTC program awards grants to universities to advance transportation research and develop the next generation of transportation professionals.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/30/2012