After several years of rough roads, the Kansas Department of Transportation and the railroad companies will be smoothing feathers, and crossings, with the help of federal funds.
According to Kim Stich at KDOT in the Office of Public Affairs the state is poised to receive significant federal funding for railroad crossings.
“KDOT receives about $10 million a year of federal safety funds to improve rail crossings in Kansas. KDOT has a priority list that annually ranks all public at-grade railroad crossings in the state. These crossings ranked high enough to receive funds,” she said.
Stich said the Hesston crossings have been on KDOT’s radar for several years.
“These crossings ranked high enough on the previous priority lists to be selected for funding for safety improvements. The railroad schedules the construction after the agreements for the projects were completed and KDOT authorized them to order materials and begin work,” she said.
While the projects have been approved by KDOT, actual change may take months.
“The railroad is responsible for the schedule of each project. Once the railroad is authorized to order materials and begin work, it can take up to a year to acquire materials, schedule labor and begin construction. The current estimated starting date is April 2014 to August 2014. Once construction begins, the signal portion of the project should take approximately three to four weeks. The crossing surface portion of the project should take approximately two to four days,” she said.
Four sets of tracks have been selected for improvement.