Chesterton, Ind. — The Indiana Department of Transportation will make available at least $125 million for high-priority railroad safety projects on local roads statewide through the agency’s new “Local Trax” matching grant program. Local Trax provides state matching funds for Indiana cities, towns, and counties interested in pursuing high-priority railroad grade separations, crossing closures, and other safety enhancements at railroad intersections with local roads.
“Much like Community Crossings, Local Trax is an innovative approach to infrastructure funding that creates a partnership between the state and communities willing to put skin in the game toward improving their local roads,” Governor Eric. J Holcomb said. “Eliminating at-grade rail crossings on local roads makes our transportation network safer, reduces congestion, and better connects our communities.”
INDOT began accepting project proposals from local agencies in May. The application window will stay open until August 31, with the awarding funds expected to be announced in late summer. Local Trax requires local governments to provide only 20 percent of funding for land acquisition and construction with the state providing the other 80 percent.
“Thanks to Governor Holcomb’s Next Level Roads plan and the support of state lawmakers, Indiana is able to invest in infrastructure, both highways and local roads, at levels not seen before in our state’s history,” INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness said. “Local Trax will direct needed funds to high priority local rail projects, enhancing mobility and livability in our communities.”
The goal of Local Trax is to encourage partnership between the state, local governments, private businesses, and railroads to increase safety, improve mobility, and enhance the quality of life for Hoosiers.
“The railroad industry is pleased to collaborate with state and local governments on this very important issue,” commented Kristin Bevil, President of the Indiana Railway Coalition. “This unique program furthers efforts to improve safety at railroad crossings, a matter the railroads take very seriously.”
Funding authorization for Local Trax was granted in HEA1002-2017, the long-term, sustainable road funding plan passed by the Indiana General Assembly and signed by Governor Holcomb in April 2017.
More information about Local Trax is online at http://www.in.gov/indot/2390.htm.