Highway Safety Improvement Program call for projects

Call for projects - 2024 Railway-Highway Crossings Program Section 130
Open - Applications due July 31, 2024

Available funding for 2024

$20 million Federal Highway Administration Section 130 Program funds.

Program Purpose

The purpose of this program is to reduce the number of fatality and serious injury crashes at public highway-rail grade crossings through the elimination of hazards and/or the installation/upgrade of protective devices at crossings.

The program focus is on adding protection to projects that demonstrate a need for safety and efficiency, which may include the replacement of functionally obsolete warning devices and for projects to reduce pedestrian fatalities and injuries from trespassing at grade crossings.

*To learn more visit: FHWA Section 130 program https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/hsip/xings/

Typical uses for the Section 130 funds are listed below but are not limited to:

  • Road closure at crossings. 
  • Install train-activated warning bells or horns.
  • Flashing lights.
  • Overhead cantilevers.
  • Gates and constant warning time circuitry.

* Note: Section 130 funds cannot be used for Pre-Paid Railroad Maintenance per RCW 81.53.295.
**Section 130 funds cannot be used at private highway rail crossings.

For railroad crossing and crash information obtained by the Federal Railroad Administration, visit the FRA link below. Once there, you can search a specific crossing for both crash history and inventory information.

https://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/OfficeofSafety/PublicSite/Crossing/Crossing.aspx

Eligibility

  • The Section 130 program funds are eligible for projects at all public Rail-Highway grade crossings. The FAST Act extended eligibility to include projects at grade crossings to eliminate hazards posed by blocked crossings due to idling trains.

    Typical projects funded by Section 130 are listed below but are not limited to:

  • The closure of any public railroad crossing(s).
  • Any public grade crossings that include roadways, bike trails, and pedestrian paths.
  • Preliminary engineering/design, right-of-way, and construction phases of projects are eligible for funding.
  • Safety improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists at crossings.
  • Installation of new crossing protective devices.
  • Upgrading existing crossing protective devices.

Identifying Projects

Projects are selected by Local Programs staff for inclusion into a funding list based on risk potential, practical solutions, and cost effectiveness. Examples used to identify projects are listed below, but are not limited to:

  • Eliminating or consolidating crossings to help mitigate risk.
  • Crash history and trends recorded at the location.
  • High vehicle and train volumes at crossing.
  • Pedestrian/bicyclist path crossing inadequate.
  • Crossing geometry.
  • Sight distance is inadequate.
  • Other railroad items that address safety.

Local Programs staff will review each identified project. The review process determines which crossing improvement projects are considered for Section 130 Program funds. This review is based upon such factors as the federal program requirements, project eligibility criteria, and if there are improvements which can be made to reduce risks covered by the Section 130 Program funds.

Additional Considerations

  • Agencies are encouraged to include equity-specific needs as part of the application development process. In many communities, traditionally disadvantaged populations are disproportionately impacted by fatal and serious injury crashes.  For more information, please see Target Zero, pp. 217-221 (PDF 1.3MB). Agencies can access equity-related data through the Washington Tracking Network.
  • In 2023 WSDOT conducted a Vulnerable Road User assessment of all public roadways statewide. Agencies should consider this data in their application development process. Identified data can be shared by request.  Agencies are encouraged to develop improvements that include considerations for Vulnerable Road User comfort and safety.

Other Requirements

  • Projects must be fully funded between this funding and other funding sources, as applicable.
  • There is no maximum funding that can be requested in each application.
  • Projects must comply with all necessary federal and state requirements as detailed in the Local Agency Guidelines Manual and the FHWA Rail-Highway Crossing (Section 130) Program Manual.
  • Once a project has been awarded funds, the agency shall complete the project as selected.
  • Project recipients must report biannually on the status and expenditures of each project.
  • Project recipients are required to submit monthly progress billings to ensure timely reimbursement of eligible federal expenditures.
  • Project costs incurred prior to federal fund obligation are not eligible for reimbursement.
  • Agencies that do not actively pursue the awarded project are at risk of the project being cancelled and the funds reprogrammed.

Selection process

All properly submitted applications will be reviewed to ensure they are complete and eligible for funding.
Each project submitted will be evaluated using a scoring matrix with points provided for, but are not limited to:

  • Crossing closure or consolidation of crossings.
  • Exposure factors.
  • Crashes within the past five years.
  • Roadway and railway items.
  • Sight distance.
  • Crossing angle.

All projects will be prioritized based on past and current delivery of federal projects by the applying agency.
WSDOT may conduct site visits with the applicant, as needed.
WSDOT’s Local Programs Director will select final projects.

Application form

A completed application form (DOCX 63KB) is required. Only one application per location. Include all projects the agency is requesting to be funded at that crossing. Applications must include:

  • General project information.
  • A vicinity map showing the locations of all improvements/countermeasures/projects.
  • A conceptual plan and cross section showing the existing and final configurations for infrastructure improvements/countermeasures.
  • A detailed cost estimate for each phase (preliminary engineering, right-of-way, and construction). The cost estimate for construction must be determined assuming that the project is design-bid-build or design-build and not delivered by the agency’s forces.

Application forms can be completed electronically or by hand but must be submitted electronically by email to HLPGrants@wsdot.wa.gov. Applications are due no later than 11:59 PM on Wednesday, July 31, 2024

*Note: Paper submittals will not be accepted. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.
**Note: If the call for projects application is needed in an alternative format, please make that request using the contact information above right.

Slow down – lives are on the line. 

In 2023, speeding continued to be a top reason for work zone crashes.

Even one life lost is too many.

Fatal work zone crashes doubled in 2023 - Washington had 10 fatal work zone crashes on state roads.

It's in EVERYONE’S best interest.

95% of people hurt in work zones are drivers, their passengers or passing pedestrians, not just our road crews.