November 28, 2022
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The Federal Railroad Administration recently issued a notice of funding opportunity that makes available over $1.4 billion in Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement or CRISI grant funding.

[Above photo by the Virginia DOT]

FRA noted that the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act or IIJA – enacted in November 2021 – more than triples funding for its CRISI program, which by law allocates at least 25 percent of those funds to projects in rural areas.

Higher funding levels enabled by the IIJA will also accelerate progress in building up infrastructure resilience and strengthening the supply chain, which in turns makes it less expensive to transport goods, added FRA Administrator Amit Bose.

FRA’s Amit Bose. Photo by AASHTO.

“Projects funded by these CRISI grants will generate economic opportunities and improve the travel experience in communities across America, whether urban or rural, large or small,” he said in a statement. “[This] massive boost to the CRISI program … will help launch our country’s new rail revolution and maintain our rail network’s unmatched standards for safety and efficiency.”

Bose pointed out that this “influx” of new grant opportunities will allow FRA to invest in a wide range of projects that will mitigate passenger and freight rail congestion; enhance multi-modal connections; and improve and establish new intercity passenger rail corridors.

Photo by the Nevada DOT

Furthermore, CRISI grants are a major source of funding for short line railroads, whose operations bolster local economies and are crucial for supply chain fluidity, he said.

In addition to projects that improve and expand freight and passenger rail infrastructure, FRA said its CRISI grants focus on safety projects such as grade crossing enhancements and rail line relocations and improvements as well as other priorities, including workforce development and training, regional rail and corridor planning, environmental analyses, and research and deployment of railroad safety technology.

New project eligibilities also include measures to prevent trespassing and to rehabilitate, remanufacture, procure, or overhaul locomotives as part of emission reduction projects.

editor@aashto.org

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