DOT announces grants for projects in Ohio, Mississippi, Arkansas

BUILD grants awarded for new Cleveland railcars, grade-crossing separation projects
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Announcement of U.S. Department of Transportation Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) grants continue. While most of the grants have been awarded to highway projects, rail-related projects include:

— In Ohio, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transportation Authority has received $15 million for railcar replacement. Cleveland.com reports the grant will go toward a plan to buy 34 new heavy rail vehicles for the agency’s Red Line, and to upgrade its maintenance facility and stations to support the new equipment. A statement from U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown said the current equipment needs replacement because of corrosion and use of obsolete parts. ““The age of the current rail fleet threatens the ability of GCRTA to reliably provide its essential services,” the statement said.

— In Mississippi, the City of Hattiesburg will receive a $13.2 million grant to help fund a $26.62 million grade crossing separation project, adding two downtown overpasses on Hall Street, as well as other changes to improve traffic flow. WDAM-TV reports Mayor Toby Barker said the grant “will literally change the course of transportation in and around downtown Hattiesburg.”

— In Arkansas, a $4 million BUILD grant will go toward a grade-crossing separation project in Montecello, allowing construction of an overpass to connect U.S. Route 278 to the state Highway 83 spur. SE Ark Today reports the grant will address congestion issues and access to emergency health care. “This BUILD grant will help supplement local investment to add an overpass to the north-south connector so vehicular traffic can move in a safe and timely manner,” the state’s congressional delegation said in a statement announcing the project.

Additional rail-related BUILD grants were announced earlier in the week [see “Federal grants announced for several rail projects,” Trains News Wire, Sept. 11, 2020].

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