• Warning Device Upgrades: Installation of automatic flashing light signals and gates at public grade crossings currently not equipped with automatic warning devices; installation of automatic flashing light signals and gates at public grade crossings currently equipped only with automatic flashing light signals; signal circuitry improvements at public grade crossings currently equipped only with automatic warning devices;
• Grade Separations - New and Reconstructed: Construction, reconstruction, or repair of bridges carrying a local road or street over railroad tracks (overpass); construction, reconstruction, or repair of bridges carrying railroad tracks over a local road or street (subway);
• Grade Separations - Vertical Clearance Improvements: Lowering the existing highway pavement surface under a railroad bridge to improve vertical clearance for motor vehicles;
• Pedestrian Grade Separations: Construction of a bridge to carry pedestrian/bicycle traffic over or under railroad tracks;
• Interconnects: Upgrading the circuitry at grade crossings where warning signals are connected to the adjacent traffic signals so that the two systems operate in a synchronized manner;
• Highway Approaches: Improvements to the portion of the public roadway directly adjacent to the crossing surface;
• Connecting Roads: Construction of a roadway between a closed crossing and an adjacent open, improved crossing;
• Remote Monitoring Devices: Sensor devices in the circuitry of grade crossing warning devices which immediately alert the railroad to any failures in warning device operations;
• Crossing Closures: Provide an incentive payment to local agencies for the voluntarily closure of public highway-rail grade crossings; and
• Crossing Surface Renewals: Up to $2 million in assistance annually can be allocated for crossing surface improvements.
The cost of railroad crossing safety improvements varies substantially depending on the nature of the work undertaken. A standard installation of gates with automatic flashing light signals on a two-lane road typically costs approximately $180,000-$200,000. Additional costs for road improvements could typically range from $2,000 to $100,000 depending on the road type and location. Grade separation structures are very costly. The GCPF has made contributions to pavement lowering (vertical clearance improvements) projects costing $35,000 - $3 million, and new underpass structures costing as much as $36 million. Bridges over railroads can cost from $600,000 for a rural structure to $40 million for a multi-lane multi-railroad urban structure. Typically, the ICC authorizes contributions from GCPF that pay up to 60% of the cost for grade separation projects and 85% to 95% for grade crossing improvements, although ICC policy is to allocate no more than $12 million from the GCPF to any individual project unless unusual circumstances warrant otherwise. When the numbers of crossing locations needing improvement are multiplied by project costs, the problem of allocating sufficient assistance from the GCPF becomes apparent.
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