Indiana localities have only a week left to apply for the state’s matching grant program designed to separate roadways from railroad tracks.
To receive part of the Local Trax grant, local governments have to pitch a safety enhancement project for a highway-rail intersection. The applications are scored based on factors including how many cars and trains cross per day. If a project is chosen, the state will cover 80-percent of its cost.
For Clinton County -- a locality proposing an estimated $10 million overpass project – it may be the only chance to eliminate a railroad crossing, says Commissioner Josh Uitts. He says the county’s partnering with the city of Frankfort to make it happen.
“I think we were a little bit late out of the gate, and it’s just set us back a little bit, getting things completed in a timely manner,” Uitts says. “But I’m confident that we’ll have everything done and ready by the 31st at 5 p.m.”
In Frankfort, city officials say commuters’ problem is trains stopping and blocking a crossing that cuts off one side of the community from the hospital.
Norfolk Southern owns the track where the existing crossing is located. In an emailed statement, the company says it supports Local Trax and is working with communities that are applying, but hasn’t heard from Frankfort and declines to comment on specific proposals until the company reviews them.