Jacksonville, FL — The City of Jacksonville has been awarded federal funding to make railway crossings safer and alleviate rail-related traffic, according to Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry.
Curry tweeted that the City has won a $17 million Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grant from the US Department of Transportation.
The grant overview obtained by WOKV shows the total cost of the “Mitigating Jacksonville’s Freight Train-Vehicle/Pedestrian Conflicts” project is around $35.3 million. We’re working to learn from the City how they intend to fund the rest of the project.
The goal is to address three distinct areas of the Northeast Florida rail system, with safety enhancements and infrastructure improvements: the Florida East Coast Railway corridor between the Bowden Rail Yard and St. Johns River rail bridge, the Beaver Street interlocking, and the southern end of the CSX rail yard that is just north of Downtown. The overall plan includes a number of projects, like modernizing rail switches and connective track, upgrading signal and track at the CSX/FEC Beaver Street interlocking, installing Centralized Traffic Control improvements on several miles of FEC track and road crossings, and installing a 7,000-foot staging track that accounts for the potential of future tech advances.
The grant overview says these projects were targeted because all freight traffic in and out of Florida needs to cross through Downtown.
“The project works to alleviate a single point of congestion for freight movement, thus allowing for increased productivity and modern controls to improve safety,” the overview says.
The “chokepoint”- as the overview calls is- is also in an area that has a high concentration of hospitals and medical centers. It says addressing the “challenges” that come with major railroads interchanging in the Urban Core can also benefit the movement of freight throughout Florida and the broader Southeast.
WOKV continues to work to learn more about this grant award.