Sen. Cantwell’s bill would spend $2.5 billion to remove train crossings

By Mike Lindblom

The Seattle Times

The Seattle Times

The federal government would distribute $500 million a year from 2022 until 2026 for projects that separate trains from other travelers, in legislation filed by Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

Their Railroad Crossing Elimination Act would let local agencies compete for federal grants of up to 80% for bridges, underpasses, track relocations, signals and technologies that prevent conflicts at grade crossings. One-fifth must be spent in rural or tribal lands.

Cantwell, a longtime freight and ports booster, helped Seattle obtain money for the 2020 Lander Street Bridge, which provides four road lanes and one walk-bike lane above the BNSF Railway line in Sodo. Recently she spoke in Congress about an incident in her hometown of Edmonds that blocked paramedics, ferry traffic and pedestrians for three hours.