For informational/historical purposes only.

 

Rail Grade Separation Program
Fact Sheet

UPDATED
December 20,2002 - changes have been highlighted

  • The Rail Grade Separation Program developed under the direction of Governor Taft is a 10-year, $200 million program led by Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC). The program will address safety, mobility and economic development concerns from Ohios local communities and elected leaders.

 

  • In 1999 the Ohio Legislature mandated ORDC, the Ohio Emergency Management Agency and the Public Utilities Commission conduct a study of assessment needs, prioritization and funding for grade separations. The study found approximately 40 Ohio grade crossing sites have at least 30 trains and 1,000 vehicles each day.

 

  • During two application periods, ODOT has received 77 applications totaling approximately $475 million. To date 15 projects totaling $70 million have been selected for funding and an additional 15 projects totaling $94 million remain in Tier II. The remaining 44 projects totaling $253 million have been placed in Tier III. The tier structure is as follows:

Tier I Projects that have a completed feasibility study approved by the TRAC subcommittee outlining project complexity, cost, environmental impacts, community and railroad support and permanency of the project and have been designated for construction funding.

Tier II Projects identified for further development and feasibility studies. These projects meet the goals of the program, but more information relative to project complexity, cost, environmental impacts, and community and railroad support is needed before funding is designated. Placement in Tier II does not guarantee a project will be constructed. If the results of the feasibility study indicate there are excessive costs relative to benefits, excessive environment and community impacts, or otherwise lack of feasibility, the project will be placed into Tier III for no further development.

Tier III Projects identified for no further development due to failure to satisfy program goals, initial estimates of excessive cost, environmental and/or community impacts or a general lack of feasibility.

  • A subcommittee of ODOTs Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC) including Director Proctor, and TRAC Jerry Hruby, Donald Jakeway and Charles Gerhardt. reviewed the applications and placed them into one of the three tiers, similar to the TRAC process.

 

  • The criteria in the project selection included: train frequency, traffic volume, impacts on the community, lack of nearby alternative routes to avoid train blockages, safety and public service impacts and project costs.

 

  • Nearly 60 percent of funding for the initiative will be provided by ODOT. Additional funds will be provided by the Ohio Legislature, railroads, local governments and the federal government.

 

  • While a priority for Governor Taft, ODOT, ORDC and local communities, these projects will not be easy to construct. Issues include maintaining rail traffic and existing community development during project construction.