WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) today announced
that the U.S. Department of Transportation will award a $2.58 million grant to
the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) for safety improvements along the 19-mile corridor through
Aurora, Marionville, Billings, and Republic, Missouri.
“You can’t have a strong railway network if you
don’t address safety issues first and foremost,” said Blunt. “Unsafe railways
and crossings compromise reliability and, most importantly, put lives at risk.
Unfortunately, that has long been the case along this critical stretch of track
in southwest Missouri and it needs to be fixed. I appreciate the Department of Transportation
making this project a priority and stand ready to offer any additional support
necessary to get it done.”
Blunt sent a letter to Federal Railroad
Administrator Ronald Batory in June of last year backing MoDOT’s grant
application. In the letter, Blunt noted that safety issues along this corridor
have resulted in 10 fatalities and 12 injuries since 1995.
According to the Department of Transportation, the
grant funding will be used to close four crossings and implement safety
improvements at nine additional crossings, including active warning devices and
gates, vertical and horizontal geometric improvements, adjacent roadway
intersections, crossing surfaces, accessible sidewalks, pavement marking,
security fencing, and drainage.
grant funding is being awarded through the Blunt-backed FY2017 Consolidated
Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Grant Program.