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$8.5 Million in Infrastructure Funding to Improve Rail Safety and Strengthen Supply Chains in the State of Iowa


September 25th, 2023 by Ric Hanson

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced today (Monday) that it has invested $8.5 million in Iowa from President Biden’s Infrastructure Law into two rail improvement projects. Nationally, the Infrastructure Law invested more than $1.4 billion into 70 rail improvement projects in 35 states and Washington, D.C. This is the largest amount ever awarded for rail safety and rail supply chain upgrades through the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program.

In Iowa, selected projects include:

  • Streamline Rail Operations and Improve Yard Safety in Cedar Rapids Project (Up to $5,850,000)

Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railway Co. (CRANDIC)

The project will conduct final design and construction to expand the CRANDIC Smith-Dows Rail Yard through various improvements, such as new tracks, a station building, and equipment enhancements. These upgrades will alleviate capacity constraints, enhance safety for interchanging and switching operations, reduce locomotive and crew truck traffic and emissions, and establish reliable reporting location and storm shelter for CRANDIC operating staff. Additionally, this project will reduce reliance of other yard facilities in central Cedar Rapids. CRANDIC will provide a 50 percent non-Federal match, and this project qualifies for the statutory set-aside designated for Rural Area projects.

  • Davenport Riverfront Rail Crossing Safety Improvements Project (Up to $2,749,720)

City of Davenport, Iowa

The project involves final design and construction for safety improvements, including signals, gates, crossing signage, and trespassing prevention measures such as barriers and fencing at multiple highway-rail grade crossings in Davenport, Iowa. The proximity of Canadian Pacific Kansas City Railroad’s (CPKC) rail line to the city’s commercial riverfront district and multi-purpose trails results in numerous safety challenges that require the trains to frequently sound the horn for an estimated nine-mile distance. The project will address the conflict points along the rail line and improve vehicle and pedestrian safety, which is especially important given an anticipated increase in freight rail traffic. The city of Davenport, IA and CPKC will provide a 20 percent non-Federal match.

While the majority of selected projects support freight rail safety and supply chains, CRISI investments are also helping to expand world-class passenger rail to more communities nationwide.