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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

Kentucky awards grants for grade crossing, riverport improvements

Paducah & Louisville Railroad was among the grant awardees.
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The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet yesterday announced nearly $1.3 million in grant awards issued to help fund improvements to multimodal freight transportation through the Kentucky Rail Crossing Improvement Program.

Awards were granted to Paducah & Louisville Railway, R. J. Corman Railroad Group, Fredonia Valley Railroad and Louisville Metro Government. The grants will fund 20 safety improvement projects, including the reconstruction of 16 crossings, three signal upgrades and one crossing replacement, cabinet officials said in a press release.

Jointly administered by the Division of Planning and Division of Right of Way and Utilities, the cabinet will fund half of $2.5 million in project costs to maintain and improve grade crossings in Kentucky.

In selecting the awardees, the cabinet examined factors such as crash history; vehicle, train and truck traffic; physical condition; project cost; and the federal railroad crossing score. One of the selected crossings had average daily traffic counts as high as 9,066, state officials said.

Projects to reconstruct crossing surfaces commonly include pavement resurfacing on approaching roads and replacement of ballast, ties and rail.

Also yesterday, the cabinet announced it is issuing $500,000 in grants to improve public safety at six Kentucky riverports. Two of the grant awardees involve rail-related projects. They are:
• the Owensboro Riverport Authority and its railroad maintenance and repair project, which involves replacing 575 deteriorated crossties and 60 deteriorated switchties to maintain reliability of the port rail loop and rail access; and
• Louisville-Jefferson County Riverport Authority, which is replacing 1,900 deteriorated crossties in order to maintain reliability of the port's track.

The Louisville Riverport is served by CSX, Norfolk Southern Railway and Paducah & Louisville Railway, and the Owensboro Riverport is served by CSX.