Fayette, Estill, Perry counties share in railroad crossing projects

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ)– Six railroad companies will receive grants to fund multimodal freight transportation improvements in Kentucky, including in Fayette, Estill and Perry counties..

Jointly administered by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s (KYTC) Division of Planning and Division of Right of Way and Utilities, the Kentucky Rail Crossing Improvement (KRCI) Program will fund 80 percent of the total project costs to maintain and improve public at-grade rail crossings in 10 Kentucky counties.

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Awards were issued to Norfolk Southern, CSX, Paducah and Louisville Railway, RJ Corman Railroad Group, Fredonia Valley Railroad, and Kentucky Railway Museum.

The projects (Kentucky Rail Crossing Improvement Program Awards FY21-22) in Fayette County include three for R.J. Corman and one for Norfolk Southern. The crossings are on Russell Cave, North Limestone, South Yarnallton Pike, and Waveland Museum Lane.

A CSX project will be done on KY 1571 in Estill County.

Two CSX projects will be done on KY 699 in Perry County.

The grants will fund 24 safety improvement projects, ranging from signal upgrades and new signage to removing obstructive vegetation to improve sight distance. The award recipients will provide a 20 percent local match.

“Maintaining efficient railroads is critical to ensure the safe and timely transportation of goods our railroad companies and consumers rely on,” KYTC Secretary Jim Gray said. “This infusion of funding will finance the majority of these needed projects to keep our railroad industry on track for success.”

Roughly half of the projects involve the reconstruction of existing crossings. The work involves removing the crossing and replacing it with new drainage and subgrade underneath the tracks, new ballasts and crossing panels and placing new asphalt pavement from the outer rails to the approaching roads.

When selecting grant recipients, the Cabinet examined factors such as crash history, traffic (vehicle, train, truck), physical condition, project cost and the federal railroad crossing score. One of the selected crossing reconstruction projects had average daily traffic counts as high as 9,066.