DOT announces $900 million in BUILD grants (updated)

Some rail projects among 55 grants awarded in 35 states, including work in Phoenix, Philadelphia
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WASHINGTON — Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao on Tuesday announced 55 projects in 35 states which will receive funding under the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development grants, with funding totaling $900 million. Half of the funds were awarded to projects in rural areas, with a maximum award of $25 million for a single project and no more than $90 million going to a single state.

While most of projects appear to be highway-oriented, some rail projects did receive funding. Among them:

— A $24 million grade-crossing separation project adjacent to Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix. The Associated Press reports the 2.3-mile trench will eliminate five grade crossings and allow extension of 24th Street, a main north-south route, over the trench. It will also improve access to businesses on Air Lane, an east-west street north of the airport.

— $12.6 million to reopen the PATCO Speedline rail station at Philadelphia’s Franklin Square. Built in 1936, the station has been closed several times because of low ridership, the last time in 1979. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the total cost of the project is $25.2 million; construction will begin next year for structural, mechanical and electrical improvements, and to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

— $13 million for a pedestrian underpass at Uptown Station, the Amtrak station in Normal, Ill. The Pantagraph newspaper reports that the funds will allow final design for the long-delayed project, with a target of completion in 2022.

— $10.5 million for grade-crossing separation and other improvements at Veterans Boulevard in Fresno, Calif. GV Wire reports the funding will go toward a decades-old project with a total cost of $139 million, eliminating a Union Pacific grade crossing and providing separation for the state's high speed rail line. The 2.5-mile project could be completed by 2023.

Previously reported projects receiving grants include a rail connection for a transload facility in Spokane, Wash. [see “Spokane airport receives $11.3 million grant for rail line to transload site,” Trains News Wire, Nov. 7, 2019], and the new multimodal facility in Carbondale, Ill. [see “Carbondale, Ill., receives funding for new transit facility,” Trains News Wire, Nov. 11, 2019].

The full list is available here. Information on any additional rail-related projects will be added as it becomes available.

— Updated at 10 a.m. on Nov. 13 with details on projects in Normal and Fresno.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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