TEXAS, USA — The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Railroad Administration has published its final rule responding to a Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) mandate requiring 40 states to implement highway-rail grade crossing action plans.
The final rule, which is to improve public safety, requires that 10 states that already have developed grade crossing action plans, to update their plans as well as submit reports describing the actions they have taken to implement them.
Plans that are being implemented must identify at least one crossing that has experienced at least one accident or incident in the previous three years, multiple accidents or incidents in the previous five years, or crossings that are determined by the state to be at high-risk for accidents or incidents.
Strategies must be presented for improving safety at crossings, including crossing closures or realigning roadways or under railways.
All 50 states and the District of Columbia are required to submit individual highway-rail grade crossing action plans to FRA for review and approval no later than 14 months after the final rule’s publication date.
The FRA will provide technical assistance to help states develop or update their action plans.
States are also able to use federal funds allocated through the FHWA’s Railway-Highway Crossing (Section 130) Program to develop and update their action plans.