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Grade Crossing Protective Fund Grants
The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (commission) is seeking applications to fund projects that will eliminate or mitigate public safety hazards at railroad crossings and along railroad rights-of-way in Washington State. The commission administers the Grade Crossing Protective Fund (GCPF) to provide grants to railroad companies, local governments and other agencies that propose to make safety improvements at a railroad crossing or along a railroad right-of-way. Designated funding is available for safety improvements at passive public railroad crossings and for eliminating or consolidated railroad crossings. In addition, funding is available for implementing other safety projects.
Limited GCPF funding is available at this time. Applicants may submit applications, however they may not be considered until the 2011-2013 biennium. Consideration of these applications is contingent upon the commission receiving funding for the GCPF program in the 2011-2013 biennium. Additional information will be posted as it becomes available.
|The commission will consider and select projects for funding based on the relative severity of the hazard being addressed, the safety benefits resulting from a project, the costs of implementing a project, geographic diversity and available funds.
To apply for funding, applicants must use one of the following three application forms:
1. Safety Improvements at Passive Public Crossings|
The commission has designated funds for the purpose of installing yield, stop and emergency notification signs at passive public railroad crossings in Washington. Applicants may also apply for funding to replace or install cross bucks, posts and retro-reflective tape. The cost per crossing may not exceed $250. To apply for this funding, you must complete the following application form and submit it to the commission. For informational purposes, we have also attached a March 17, 2006, memorandum from the Federal Highway Administration that recommends installation of yield or stop signs and details how they should be installed. Upon completion of the project the applicant will be required to submit photographs of each crossing and complete and sign an affidavit of project completion.
2009 MUTCD Section Number
2009 MUTCD Section Title
Grade Crossing (Crossbuck) Sign (R15-1) and Number of Tracks Plaque (R15-2P) at Active and Passive Grade Crossings
Retroreflective strip on crossbuck support
(2000 MUTCD Section 8B.02)(*)
January 17, 2011 (a)
Crossbuck Assemblies with YIELD or STOP Signs at Passive Grade Crossings
New requirement in the 2009 MUTCD for the use of
STOP or YIELD signs with Crossbuck signs
at passive grade crossings
December 31, 2019
|Note: Unless otherwise noted, dates are as established in the Final Rule for the 2009 MUTCD.|
(a) Dates established in the Final Rule for the 2000 MUTCD.
(*) Provisions may have been revised in the 2009 MUTCD.
|2. Crossing Elimination or Consolidation|
The commission has designated funds for the purpose of eliminating or consolidating crossings. To apply for this funding, you must complete the following application form and submit it to the commission.
3. Open Call for Projects
In the open call for projects, an applicant may request GCPF funding for any project that will eliminate or mitigate public safety hazards at railroad crossings and along railroad rights-of-way in Washington.
Generally, proposals in the open call for projects should be related to one of the following three categories:
a. Trespass prevention projects. Examples of projects in this category include fencing or other physical barriers that prevent trespassing on railroad rights-of-way, pedestrian warning devices, channeling devices, media or public relations campaigns and enforcement-related activities. Note that fencing projects must meet Washington State Department of Transportation (DOT) fencing standards (see below). Fences may not include decorative features such as vinyl-coated or slatted chain link or wood fences unless the applicant directly pays for the decorative features.
b. Private grade crossing safety improvements. Examples of projects in this category include installation of crossing-specific warning devices, installation of nighttime or off-hours locked gates and improvements to existing warning devices.
c. Miscellaneous safety projects. Examples of projects in this category include improvements to motorists’ ability to see approaching trains, including the removal of physical obstructions, participation in roadway improvements at or approaching grade crossings and mitigation of crossing closures.
The commission will normally approve proposals for no more than $20,000 for projects that do not have a cost-share or matching requirement. In exceptional circumstances, the commission may approve an amount in excess of $20,000 to address an immediate or significant safety problem. If an applicant requests more than $20,000, he or she must provide sufficient justification, including but not limited to:
- The application requests more than $20,000 as partial payment for a much larger project. The applicant must describe the larger project, including cost projections that describe which parties are expected to pay which portion of projected costs.
- The application requests more than $20,000 and the applicant is providing matching or shared costs. The applicant must describe the larger project, including cost projections that describe which parties will provide matching or shared projected costs.
The commission may limit the amount of funding per project so that an optimal number of projects may be funded with regard to relative safety benefits and project costs.
The commission will not pay administrative costs or labor costs if administration and labor is provided by the applicant with current staff (i.e. a company employee installs the fencing), but may pay for contracted administration or labor.
The commission will make payment only on a reimbursement basis. The commission will not approve advance payments for any project costs.
Improvements to Warning Devices at Public Grade Crossings
Grants for improvements to warning devices at public grade crossings must be requested through the commission’s petition process pursuant to RCW 81.53.261. Applications for improving warning devices at public grade crossings may be submitted for consideration at any time.
GRADE CROSSING PROTECTIVE FUND RULES:
Further information about the GCPF may be obtained by contacting:
Kathy Hunter at (360) 664-1257 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dave Pratt at (360)664-1100 or by e-mail at email@example.com
Staff contact: Kathy Hunter