Bay Area receives millions in grant money for rail projects

Train safety

Five grants have been awarded to California rail projects — four of which are in the Bay Area — by the Department of Transportation totaling more than $46 million with goals of safety, resilience and modernization.

“Our transportation infrastructure is in desperate need of modernization, and these grants will help improve and safeguard key rail projects through the state,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California. “These grants will help local communities improve their infrastructure and create new jobs, a win-win proposition.”

Project grants awarded to California:

  • Alameda County Transportation Commission: $25 million. This project will improve safety at 28 rail crossings and two trespassing sites on Union Pacific railroad in Alameda County. This will include improved signage, sidewalks, pedestrian gates, lighting, fencing and crossing signals. The Federal Railway Administration ranked Alameda County fourth on its list of most pedestrian fatalities in the United States, and this grant will help reduce those needless deaths.
  • San Jose: $7.5 million. This project will help begin the process of constructing overpasses or underpasses at three rail crossings at Skyway Drive, Branham Lane and Chynoweth Avenue. All three crossings are adjacent to intersections with Monterey Road, a high-fatality corridor. The grade separation project will also complement the California High Speed Rail project.
  • San Jose State University Research Foundation: $4.6 million. Funds will help create a multi-university consortium to establish a Climate Change and Extreme Events Training and Research program. The program will facilitate research, education and technology transfer activities to improve the rail network's safety and resilience against extreme events including climate change.
  • San Jose: $1.2 million. The project will fund construction of a traffic signal system at the Bascom Avenue Highway-Rail Crossing on the Vasona rail corridor. The new system will help reduce the risk of collisions between vehicle traffic and trains and improve service to transit riders due to fewer delays.
  • San Diego Association of Governments: $8 million. The project will support replacement of the 104-year-old Pacific Surfliner Bridge, a frequently-used railway of economic importance to the region. Without replacement, the railway could experience service interruptions caused by structural degradation and damage from wildfires and flooding.

 “Repairing and improving the quality of our infrastructure will not only enhance the efficiency and reliability of intercity passenger and freight rail, but also make the system safer for workers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists and motorists," said Sen. Alex Padilla, D-California.

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