Highway Safety Improvement Program call for projects

Closed - Call for projects - Railway-Highway Crossings Program - Applications Due August 26, 2022

Available funding for 2022

$20 million Federal Highway Administration Section 130 Program funds.

Program Purpose

The purpose of this program is to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries 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:

  • 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.

Note: Section 130 funds cannot be used at private highway rail crossings.


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:

  • 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.
  • The closure of any public railroad crossing(s).
  • 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. Project considerations include, 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 review each identified project. The review 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.

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 not limited to:
    Exposure factors.
    Crashes within the past five years.
    Crossing closure or consolidation of crossings.
    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 by spring of 2023.

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 quarterly 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.

Application form

A completed application form (DOCX 61KB) 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 11:59 PM on Friday, August 26, 2022 by email to HLPGrants@wsdot.wa.gov.

Note: Paper submittals will not be accepted. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

Note: If the call for projects or application are needed in an alternative format, please make that request using the contact information below.

Program Contacts

For railroad crossing information please visit the Federal Railroad Administration. Once there, you can search a crossing for both crossing crash history and inventory information.

If you have additional questions, please contact:
Washington Utilities & Transportation Commission
Email: rail@utc.wa.gov

Note: Information about train speeds and train counts must be obtained from the railroad directly. UTC can provide railroad contact information.


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