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Following Blunt Advocacy, Department of Transportation to Award Nearly $2.6 Million Grant for Rail Safety Improvements in Southwest Missouri

February 06, 2019

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. The grant funding is being awarded through the Blunt-backed FY2017 Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Grant Program.   

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